Counteracting Inequities

Unidentified inequities in the learning environment are likely to adversely affect educational quality, while inequities in the clinical environment can set a poor example for learners. Learn to identify and address specific inequities in the clinical education environment.  

Educators at this level should be able to identify specific instances of inequities and discuss them with the team. They should have completed training to familiarize themselves with the terminology and begin to notice comments and actions that will need to be acted upon to decrease inequities to patients and learners. 

Quick Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with words and phrases that bear implicit bias
  • Be wary of microagressions in yourself and your clinical team
  • Remember, all students should receive similar feedback regardless of age, gender expression, race, ethnicity, or cultural beliefs
  • Make an effort to notice when different terms or styles are used for different learners
  • Similar keywords should be used to avoid gender bias in feedback
    • For example, take note if and when female learners receive more comments on the “soft skills” than on other skills, such as procedures or the musculoskeletal exam
  • Explore with learners any experiences they have had with inequities in health care
  • Explore inequities in health care with your team

Authors: Rebecca E. Cantone, MD, Daniel Wolk, MD

  1. Cené CW, Peek ME, Jacobs E, Horowitz CR. Community-based Teaching about Health Disparities: Combining Education, Scholarship, and Community Service. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25(S2):130-135. doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1214-3.