While critically informed approaches to medical education are increasingly advocated in literature, discussion of the potential role of disability studies in informing pedagogy and practice is largely lacking. The emergence of long Covid, alongside the strong possibility of a wave of covid-related disability, underlines an urgent need for medicine to develop more contextualised, nuanced and structurally competent understandings of chronic illness and disability. This article argues that the integration of thinking from disability studies into medical curricula offers a pathway to such understanding, informing a more equitable, holistic and patient-centred approach to practice. Further, a structurally competent, antiableist approach positions clinicians and patients as allies, working together within a structural context that constrains both parties. Such positioning may mitigate tensions within the clinical encounter, tensions that are well documented in the realm of marginalised chronic illness and disability. While the possibilities arising from a partnership between disability studies and medicine are numerous, the foci here are the social relational model of disability and the concept of psycho-emotional disablism, within a broader framework of critical disability studies. It is argued that inadequate healthcare provision and policy in the realm of long Covid can be understood as a form of structural and psycho-emotional disablism, arising from and reinforcing an ableist psychosocial imaginary permeated with neoliberal assumptions, and carrying a risk of furthering both disability and impairment. After considering long Covid through these particular lenses, the article concludes with a discussion of how a partnership between disability studies and a structurally competent approach to medical education might translate into practice.