Understanding diversity, equity, & inclusion in organizational pediatrics

At the 2022 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, Christopher Golden, MD, presented on 2 topics focused on DEI.

Christopher Golden, associate professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland (and a member of Contemporary Pediatrics®' Editorial Advisory Board), focused his 2 sessions at this year’s Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in medical institutions.

His first presentation, “Learning to swat mosquitoes: addressing microaggressions in medical education,” highlighted recognizing microaggression by patients, students, physicians, and staff in clinical environments, and how to learn specific tools to mitigate these instances. Golden differentiated between microassault (conscious and deliberate), which could include hanging swastikas or making jokes about marginalized people; and microaggression, which is often unconscious, but conveys rudeness and insensitivity.

Recipients to microaggression can do a number of things to mitigate the situation, including asking questions (“why is that funny?”), while bystanders to microaggression, noted Golden, can stand up by speaking up for others (“that’s not how we treat each other;” “I don’t think that’s appropriate because…”)

Golden’s presentation on “Creating diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions across organizational pediatrics: not a zero-sum game,” helped attendees recall the importance of the pediatric section of the National Medical Association in promoting the well-being of children of color, evaluate efforts of the American Academy of Pediatrics in addressing and removing biases within its organizational structure that impact the care of all children; and construct solutions to address systemic and structural inequities at attendees’ individual institutions.

Learning to question and address both conscious and unconscious bias, and looking within medical organizations and associations to note their own biases, and where necessary, removing them within these working cultures will go a long way in walking the walk of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of pediatrics.

Golden C, Burrows H, Fleming A, et al. Learning to swat mosquitoes: addressing microaggression in medical student education. Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. April 23, 2022. Denver, Colorado.

Golden C, Wright JL. Creating diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions across organizational pediatrics: not a zero-sum game.” Pediatric Academic Societies 2022; April 24, 2022. Denver, Colorado.