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Clin Teach. 2012 Jun;9(3):164-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2011.00524.x.

DrivAbility: teaching medical aspects of driving.

Author information

  • 1Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, UK. jeremy.gibson@nhs.net



Teaching medical aspects of fitness to drive (FTD) is currently inconsistent across UK medical schools, with almost one-third of UK medical schools offering no tuition on medical aspects of FTD. It is, therefore, not surprising to find that medical students and doctors tend to lack confidence regarding the medical aspects of FTD and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) medical standards.


In response to this inconsistency we developed an innovative new learning module to teach our medical students the importance of giving appropriate advice to patients about driving, the role of the DVLA regarding medical aspects of FTD, how to recognise when patients should be referred to a driving assessment centre and what adaptations are available to allow patients with physical disabilities to drive safely. As far as we are aware Derby is the first centre in the world to incorporate the practical experience of driving adapted vehicles (at a driving assessment centre) into the undergraduate medical curriculum as an aid to teaching medical aspects of FTD. This practical learning module has proven popular with the students.


Driving these adapted vehicles has allowed our students to appreciate some of the practical difficulties disabled drivers experience when learning new driving techniques. However, as only 18 driving assessment centres exist within the UK, an exact replication of this learning module will be limited elsewhere. Nevertheless, we would encourage other medical schools to evaluate the local resources that could enhance the delivery of their undergraduate curricula.

© Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2012.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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