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Would thyroid problems prevent people from teaching?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by sakurabamboo, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. sakurabamboo

    sakurabamboo New commenter

    Hello guys! I am looking to start my PGCE next year, but recently my doctor told me that I may develop thyroid dysfunctions in the future given my family history of thyroid issues, and advised me to check thyroid functions like once a year. My thyroid functions are all normal currently, I have no symptoms and I feel well every day. But considered thyroid conditions might change over time, and it is a long time to go before the course starts, I wonder how the university and the schools would take regard on teachers with thyroid dysfunctions like an under active thyroid or hyperthyroidism? Would thyroid dysfunctions potentially make me unfit to teach? Grateful for any thoughts on this. Xx
     
  2. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    You say your thyroid function is normal at the moment. As I see it, as you are fit and well at the moment, then the university has no reason to decline your application. You may not even develop thyroid problems! It's a bit like universities declining applications from candidates who have a family history of cancer or heart problems, it just doesn't happen and why would you disclose your family history of thyroid problems anyway? Your health issues are nothing to do with them as long as you are deemed fit enough to teach.

    Anyway, there are a number of effective treatments for hypo and hyperthyroidism and when treated effectively you will be able to lead a perfectly normal life. Do not let this issue deter you from a teaching career but before you commit yourself I would advise to get some actual classroom experience and talk to experienced teachers so you are fully informed as to what you are letting yourself in for.
     
    bonxie and agathamorse like this.
  3. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Hi,
    I suffer from an underactive thyroid, diagnosed six or seven years ago. I take a thyroxine tablet every day and that's it. Every year I have a blood test to see if I need to adjust the dosage. The rest of the time I get on with my job and nobody's the wiser. I doubt my managers know I have this condition, it doesn't interfere with my work at all.
     
  4. sakurabamboo

    sakurabamboo New commenter

    Thank you for sharing! I really hope I won't develop any thyroid problems, but I admit that I was terrified when being told there are higher risks of developing them:( Actually I was just offered a PGCE place last week, and now a bit worried what if I develop thyroid problems when looking for teaching post after the course, since I'll then need to declare it on the medical form.
     
  5. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    You'll probably be looking for a job during the course, around March/April time and with any luck you'll have a job lined up from June/July time. That's at most 8 months from now that you'll have to hang on before developing thyroid problems. After that you're in the clear. This thyroid thing seems to be dominating your life and allowing it to partially determine your future. Perhaps a chat with a medical professional or counsellor may help?
     
    bonxie likes this.
  6. sakurabamboo

    sakurabamboo New commenter

    Although I don't need to worry about it now, I'm most curious to find how schools react to thyroid problems if a teacher declares it on the medical form, after a job offer is made? I know many people with under active thyroids can work perfectly well like others as long as they receive treatment, just as Jeremyinspain described. So thyroid problem should not be a medical condition that makes people unfit to teach if under control. But just wondering how it works in reality? Would schools turn down the job offer because of thyroid issues?
     
  7. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Workplace Dilemmas or Pay and Conditions will have the answer but ...
    ...I thought

    a) medical conditions should not be taken into consideration (or put to the appointment panel) until a job offer has been made
    b) if your condition is classed as a disability, it is illegal to discriminate.
     
  8. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

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