Neera Jain, PhD, MS, CRC

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Neera Jain is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Education Scholarship (CHES) in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. She completed her bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation and human services and master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at Boston University. In 2021 she completed her PhD in Education at Waipapa Taumata Rau, Te Kura Akoranga me te Tauwhiro Tangata/The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Weaving together perspectives of students with disabilities and school officials from four U.S. medical schools, her doctoral thesis, Negotiating the capability imperative: Enacting disability inclusion in medical education (2020), explores the limits of an accommodation-focused approach to disability inclusion and imagines a transformational alternative that is inclusive by design. In 2021, her thesis won the Association for Medical Education Europe (AMEE) Doctoral Report Award.

Neera’s research interests align with advancing anti-ableism in medical education and practice, with an understanding that ableism is interconnected with other marginalizing forces. Her work uses qualitative methodologies and theory from critical disability studies, in particular, those that draw from other critical disciplines (e.g., critical race, queer, and feminist scholarship) to illuminate lived understandings of educational worlds. To this end, she is interested in projects that examine formal and other-than-formal curricula, professional identity formation, critical consciousness development, intersectionality, EDI efforts, addressing health in equities, and student movements with a justice-oriented lens.

Neera began her career working in vocational rehabilitation at HealthSouth New England Rehabilitation Hospital and at NYU Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. She then transitioned to higher education disability inclusion, leading disability services for students in health science education programs at Columbia University in the City of New York and the University of California, San Francisco. In Aotearoa, she managed a free legal service for disabled people and their whānau (extended family), Auckland Disability Law. She has been involved in national (U.S.) and international efforts to advance disability inclusion in health science education as a board member of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education since 2014.

Beyond the academic world, Neera enjoys playing tamborim in a batería, finding new vegetarian food delights, and urban exploration by bike.

Research Interests

My research interests include:

  • Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Anti-ableist, anti-racist, queering, and Indigenizing medical education
  • Intersectional and cross-movement approaches to research and practice
  • Formal and other-than-formal curriculum
  • Professional identity formation
  • Addressing health inequities
  • Disability studies
  • Qualitative methodologies


  • Association for Medical Education Europe – Doctoral Report Award (2021)
  • Apex Award for Publication Excellence: Writing – Regular Departments & Columns (2020)
  • Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability – Practice Brief Reviewer of the Year (2015)


  • Daniel and Olga Archibald Medical Education Research Fund, The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (2017). $2,500 NZD
  • Funding for the Lived Experience Project, Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Student Affairs (2016-2018). $20,000 USD

Publication Highlights

  • Peiris-John, R., Jain, N. R., Hogan, A., & Ameratunga, S. (2021). Educating health science students about disability: Teachers’ perspectives on curricular gaps. Disability and Health Journal, 14(1).
  • Meeks, L. M., Jain, N. R., & Laird, E. P. (2020). Equal Access for Students with Disabilities: The Guide for Health Science and Professional Education, 2nd Edition. Springer Publishing.
  • Jain, N. R. (2020). Frameworks for inclusion: Towards a transformative approach. In L. M. Meeks & L. Neal-Boylan, (Eds.), Disability as Diversity: A Guidebook for Inclusion in Medicine, Nursing, and the Health Professions. Springer.
  • Jain, N. R. (2020). Political disclosure: Resisting ableism in medical education. Disability & Society, 25(3), 389-412.
  • Meeks, L.M., Jain, N.R., Moreland, C., Taylor, N., Brookman, J.C., & Fitzsimons, M. (2019). Realizing a diverse and inclusive workforce: Equal access in GME for residents with disabilities. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 11(5), 498-503.
  • Meeks, L.M. & Jain, N. R. (2018). Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities [Special Report]. Association of American Medical Colleges.

Presentation Highlights

  • Jain, N. R. (2021). Why crip assessment? Critical disability studies theories to advance assessment for inclusion. Paper presented at the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) Symposium on Assessment for Inclusion at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia [Virtual].
  • Jain, N. R., & Nusbaum, E. A. (2021). Willful hermeneutical ignorance? Conceptualizing disability’s ontological erasure in medical education as epistemic injustice. Oral Presentation at the Disability Studies Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Jain, N. R. (2021). Which way to justice? Medical training and learners with disabilities. Keynote Address at the 2nd Wellness Innovation Scholarship for Health Professions Education (WISHES) Symposium, Calgary University Cumming School of Medicine,. Calgary, AB, Canada [Virtual].
  • Jain, N. R. (2019). Risking capability for access: Disabled students negotiating the capability imperative in medical education. Oral presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada.
  • Jain, N. R. (2019). A culture of access: Beyond legal compliance to valued inclusion. Keynote Address at the 6th Annual Disability in Health Science and Medicine Symposium, Washington, DC.