Residents learn practical skills to address racism and bias in healthcare - UW Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine

Microaggressions, indirect and sometimes accidental discrimination directed at marginalized groups, and other instances of bias have been linked to decreased trust in providers and lowered health outcomes in patients. Through education sessions developed by Drs. Katherine Gentry and Preetma Kooner, our residents learn the effects of racism in healthcare and develop the skills to promote health justice. 

As part of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Council’s mission to promote healthcare equity, Drs. Gentry and Kooner lead the development and implementation of workshops which focus on contextualizing the practice of medicine (specifically, anesthesiology and pain medicine) through historical, social, and cultural lenses. Each lecture series is built by providing a space for discussion and mentor-led problem-based learning as it pertains to the topics of microaggressions, cultural humility and difficult conversations. These sessions are in-person, interactive learning opportunities for each residency class, tailored to their growing level of expertise and experience. 

By learning to interrogate the structural and societal forces that lead to healthcare inequity, the next generation of physicians are empowered to act as advocates for their patients and leaders in their communities. Through these workshops, the EDI council combines evidence from literature, provides opportunities to share personal experiences, and find tools for communication and advocacy, so that the residents learn to recognize injustice and take action.