Starting Health Disparities Education During Resident Orientation: Our Patients, Our Community

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Abstract

Disparities in women’s reproductive health outcomes are persistent and prevalent. Cultural competency education of trainees is central to reducing patient-, system-, and practitioner-level factors that promote disparate health outcomes. Such issues include health literacy, access to health care, and unconscious bias. We suggest that recognizing and reducing health disparities should be a longitudinal theme in resident education, first introduced during intern orientation and continued with dedicated didactics, experiential learning opportunities, grand rounds, and journal clubs built into the residency curricula. In this commentary, we present various methods of introducing health disparities education and commencing a larger conversation about inequity and race in medicine. We hope to encourage other training programs to incorporate this important topic earlier into their educational curriculum.

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