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Diversity and Inclusion Educational Aids
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Diversity and Inclusion Educational Aids

The Society for Education in Anesthesia Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is compiling and disseminating educational aids on Diversity and Inclusion on a monthly basis.

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October 2020: Allegories on Race and Racism

Submitted by: Josephine Hernandez, MD

In early June there were peaceful demonstrations decrying the murder of George Floyd and many other Black Americans. There were conversations throughout the hospital about institutional racism, health care disparities laid bare by CV-19 and the rise of white supremacy.

I noticed that there were residents that simply didn’t understand the depth of problem—residents from other countries. How could I have them begin to understand, so they can take part in the conversation?

A colleague, Dr. Sharma Joseph suggested Dr. Camara Jones’ Ted Talk and a brief history of the U.S. My residents and I found Dr. Jones talk non-threatening and really clarified how institutional racism grows and develops roots. My residents had a rich discussion and my residents of color opened up and told them of their experiences. The Ted Talk helped us develop a deeper understanding and created deeper bonds between my residents.

September 2020: Reflection: Standing together for a Better Tomorrow

Submitted by: By Jennifer Lau, MD

I recently read Dr. Kali Cyrus’ vulnerable account “Why I gave up my dream of leading diversity efforts in medicine” describing the overwhelming demands and isolation that she experienced while trying to champion diversity and I could not help but think of how common her story is. While reading this article, I reflected on the frustrations of two colleagues who felt unsupported in their effort to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives at the hospital and medical school level. It is heartbreaking that we, as a healthcare community, continue to fail to support so many talented and driven people.

To achieve sustainable, transformative change we must go beyond verbal support. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has for too long been an institutional check box without deep thought into what that entails. Are we really surprised that studies today still confirm racial bias in patient care or that we still have significant disparities in the make-up of our workforce? The data is clear: there are severe racial and gender incongruities amongst US physicians today affecting patient care. We must strive for better.

To fix this problem we need to do more than just kneel on Instagram or put a #BLM sign in our yards. We need to

  • Use our privilege and influence to ally with our under-represented colleagues
  • Let our under-represented colleagues know that we will stand by them and sponsor their efforts; they are not alone.
  • Persuade hospital leadership to prioritize DEI and invest in sustainable education and personnel to create the necessary changes.
  • Demand that hospital and medical school leadership invest in DEI champions by providing them with non-clinical time, administrative support, and the authority to hold hospitals accountable.

The lack of diversity in our workforce and the unsupported environments in our institutions are a national crisis and should be treated as such. This is the moment that we must stand together. For the sake of our patients and our colleagues, we cannot fail.

References
https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/why-i-gave-my-dream-leading-diversity-efforts-medicine

August 2020: Love and Inclusivity

Submitted by: Herodotos Ellinas, MD, MHPE

This 6 min short video by Matthew Richardson set to the music of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is about kindness, love and support for each other. It is about caring regardless of differences in our beliefs.

July 2020: What is Microaggression and Why Does it Matter - A Short Video

Submitted by: Tracey Straker, MD, MS, MPH, CBA, FASA

For July, this educational aid, a short video, comes from National Public Radio (NPR), and is recommended by the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force because it gives the definition of microaggressions in a simplified manner, explains the feelings of unease that they may cause, and gives possible solutions to the problem.

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