FAER  |   June 2019
FAER ...Celebrating Different Perspectives
Author Affiliations
  • James C. Eisenach, M.D.
    President & CEO, FAER
Article Information
Critical Care / Education / CPD / Obstetric Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / FAER
FAER   |   June 2019
FAER ...Celebrating Different Perspectives
ASA Monitor 6 2019, Vol.83, 58-59.
ASA Monitor 6 2019, Vol.83, 58-59.
In medicine and medical research, cultural competence and diversity aren’t just solely social topics. They are key variables to be cognizant of when communicating with, treating and researching patients.
As of October 2018, only 35 percent of physicians in the U.S. identified as women.2  Even fewer U.S. physicians identified as a person of color: 4.1 percent identified as black, 4.4 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino, 0.4 percent identified as Native American, and 11.7 percent identified as Asian.3  Unfortunately, these demographics do not reflect the population of the U.S. and communities that physicians serve.
Although physicians take and abide by an oath to care for all humans, we are not immune to being myopic about the experiences of those who are different than us. Our limited experience often leads us to make assumptions or use stereotypes as shortcuts to try and make sense of the world around us. However, research shows that diversity in medicine and medical research helps us expose and mend our own cultural blind spots, which empowers us to perform more innovative research on an individual level.1  Diversity also promotes innovation at the group level. Research indicates that a group of racially and ethnically diverse individuals is better at problem-solving than a racially and ethnically homogenous group.1  When we learn to consider alternative viewpoints, we ask questions we might have never considered and open doors we may not have previously seen.
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