Lectures and seminars Addressing Microaggressions in Medical Education

20-04-2022 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Add to iCal
Learn more about microaggressions.
Photo: iStock.

"You'd look prettier if you smiled."
"Where are you *really* from?"
"Your swedish/english is really good."

All this are examples of microaggressions - commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups.

Microaggressions within health professions- and medical education is something that not only affects the victims, but also the learning and the profession as whole.

The Unit for Teaching and learning would like to invite you to a unique offer of a workshop in collaboration with members from several universities in United States that has worked on these issues within their medical education for several years.

The workshop

This workshop aims to strengthen medical educators by teaching methods of identifying and preventing microaggressions as well as tools to support learners experiencing such affronts. This instruction will promote diversity and safe learning environments in medical education.

The faculty presenting this workshop come from seven different academic institutions from across the United States and represent a diversity of experience and thought on the subject.

Challenges, Educational Need(s), or Skills Gap(s) that this workshop addresses

While overt displays of aggression (i.e., physical abuse) currently occur less commonly in medical schools, subtly demeaning comments and behaviors related to trainees’ gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious practices, and/or disability have persisted through generations of medical training. A recent study of US medical students confirm that microaggressions against medical students are associated with burnout, impaired learning, and increased odds of depression, particularly for those underrepresented in medicine.

Ultimately, microaggressions may impair trainees’ relationships with patients and their families, clinical instructors, and colleagues and decrease learner engagement in and enjoyment of clinical medicine. Many practicing physicians have experienced and/or witnessed such indignities yet may be uncomfortable in identifying all types of these behaviors, confronting the aggressors, and counselling learners in these situations.

Learning objectives

At workshop’s conclusion, attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify all forms of microaggressions.
  2. Recognize microaggressions against medical trainees (by patients, other students, graduate medical trainees [residents, fellows], physicians, and staff) in clinical environments.
  3. Intervene with specific tools to mitigate instances of microaggressions, improving allyship and advocacy while promoting inclusion.

Workshop faculty

  • Heather L. Burrows, MD, PhD, University of Michigan Medicine. Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Director Pediatric Residency Program, Associate Chair of Education, Pediatrics.
  • Amy E. Fleming, MD, MHPE, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Professor of Pediatrics; Associate Dean for Medical Student Affairs.
  • W. Christopher Golden, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Director, Core Clerkship in Pediatrics.
  • Joseph A. Jackson, MD, Duke University School of Medicine. Associate Professor of Pediatrics. Associate Dean for Medical Student Affairs
  • Meg G. Keeley, MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine. Professor of Pediatrics; Assistant Dean for Student Affairs; Dean, Robley Dunglison College
  • Sharon Kileny, MD, University of Michigan Medicine. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; Associate Director, Pediatric Medical Student Education.
  • Kenya A. McNeal-Trice, MD, University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Professor of Pediatrics; Designated Institutional Officer
  • Kim Vinson, MD, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Associate Professor of Otolaryngology; Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs.
  • Valencia P. Walker, MD, MPH, The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; Associate Chief Diversity and Health Equity Officer, Nationwide Children's Hospital; Associate Division Chief for Health Equity and Inclusion, Department of Pediatrics.

Register to the event

An exploratory study on microaggressions in medical school: What are they and why should we care?
Espaillat A, Panna DK, Goede DL, Gurka MJ, Novak MA, Zaidi Z
Perspect Med Educ 2019 06;8(3):143-151

Microaggressions in Clinical Training and Practice.
Overland MK, Zumsteg JM, Lindo EG, Sholas MG, Montenegro RE, Campelia GD, Mukherjee D
PM R 2019 09;11(9):1004-1012


Teresa Sörö Head of Office