Sick and Tired: Williams publishes on racial discrimination experienced by physicians in Green Journal

Tags: Academic Specialists in ObGyn, publication

UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn Director Makeba Williams, MD, published a Personal Perspectives article in the March issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Williams begins the article “Sick and Tired” by sharing her recent experience with physician-directed bias and discrimination from a patient. Her article is a call to healthcare institutions to study and understand the frequency and impact of implicit and explicit bias experienced by physicians from their patients, and to develop policies and structures that support healthcare providers through these experiences:

As a physician, I am well aware of the growing body of research on how physicians' “implicit” cognitive biases that emanate from cultural stereotypes can unintentionally perpetuate inequities and the health disparities that continue to plague our country. Despite the growing racial and ethnic diversity of the U.S. physician workforce, there is notably little research on physician-directed implicit and explicit bias from patients. Yet, social media feeds are rife with personal examples from physicians of color who have experienced physician-directed discrimination. The lack of institutional policies to address these discriminatory acts and the unawareness of their effect on underrepresented physicians compounds these negative experiences, which can lead to isolation, victimization, and burnout. In the absence of clear legal or structural guidance, health care institutions are just now beginning to grapple with appropriate policies that respect the rights of patients and physicians.”

Read the rest of Williams’ article here