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Dismantling bias with community support 

06-10-2022 03:43 PM

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SIR TODAY 2022 | Sunday, June 12

Navigating the health care landscape is difficult for physicians who face daily bias. Be it sexism, racism, ageism, ableism or xenophobia, these biases make existing in the workplace uncomfortable and cause anxiety in the moment. In “Don’t Face ‘Isms’ Alone—Case Studies and Real-Life Strategies,” a panel of IRs will share techniques they’ve discovered for handling these situations.

“The advancement of our specialty depends on creating an inclusive, productive work environment for interventional radiologists from diverse backgrounds,” said session co-coordinator Merve Ozen, MD. “This session aims to help attendees to manage everyday issues such as microaggression or gaslighting with real-life case examples and live discussions.”

Microaggressions are small and subtle forms of bias. They appear as purportedly socially acceptable comments, snubs, “jokes” or tiny, regular invalidations.

“When you see biases happening, how do you navigate that?” said Aneesa Majid, MD, MBA, FSIR, one of the session presenters. “What do you do? These are hard things to talk about, and it’s uncomfortable.”

According to session participant Hirschel D. McGinnis, MD, while microaggressions may be more difficult to identify than overt forms of discrimination, their aggregated effects create just as much stress and harm to the recipients. This can lead to internalized feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem—and when individuals try to speak up about what they’ve experienced, they’re often told that they’re being overly sensitive, over exaggerating, or just being difficult.

“Often when individuals face bias or discrimination, they are unsure what has happened and how to respond in a professional setting,” said co-coordinator Yilun Koethe, MD. “Through this panelist case-based discussion, we want to offer different methods of effectively addressing these highly nuanced issues, strategies that the audience can make their own and use in their lives.”

Coordinators Dr. Koethe, Dr. Ozen and Nadine Abi-Jaoudeh, MD, FSIR, will be joined by Dr. McGinnis, Dr. Majid, Gloria Salazar, MD, FSIR, Janice Newsome, MD, FSIR, and Robert Lewandowski, MD, FSIR, as they unpack the microaggressions and biases that underrepresented minorities in medicine face. As part of the session, attendees will be able to ask questions and seek advice from experienced panelists—and, in doing so, create a culture of support.

“Ultimately, I hope to inspire confidence,” said Dr. Koethe. “And hopefully empower everyone to face these biases, both individually and collectively.”

Sunday, June 12, 2022

3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Room 153AB



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