Answer to "How can I ensure my teaching addresses diversity?"
The key way to ensure that any teaching addresses diversity is for diversity and inclusion to be considered at every stage of the educational process from the way the curriculum is developed, delivered, assessed and evaluated.
Incorporating opportunities for student to reflect on the relationship of diversity and clinical care
Below are some suggestions taken from an online module developed by Nisha Dogra to support teachers to incorporate diversity into their teaching.
Reflection and discussions with students is an important teaching strategy for many aspects of the medical curriculum
Examining stereotypes so they begin to understand where their biases and values have come from
Ask students about their values regarding a specific issue relating to the subject you are teaching, and challenge them to consider other perspectives and values around the issue
Ask them to identify specific values and how these might cause conflict regarding their professional roles with respect to the topic or area that you might be teaching
Teachers who teach about children for example might also want to ask:
Students to reflect on how their own childhoods and experience of family impacts on the way they view these social entities – how do these fit in with what is expected of them?
Those working in diabetes might want to ask students about obesity and their views and knowledge on this and how it might impact on the care they provide.
Including diversity in your case vignettes
You may want to develop a range of case vignettes that incorporate diversity as part of the scenario, or you might want to supplement existing scenarios with questions that encourage students to consider the diversity of their patients and how these factors may interact with their health presentations.
LD is a fifty-five-year-old man who has recently had a heart attack and is recovering well, physically. However, he now complains of poor sleep and motivation. He feels constantly tired. He is also worried that any activity may trigger another heart attack.
Students might be asked to explain what further history they might want to take to clarify what is going on here and how they would manage the situation. It is possible that this man has developed a depressive illness following his heart attack.
To help students to think more widely, additional questions you may want to ask are:
How would your history and management change if the patient was female?
What influence would the patient’s ethnicity have on your management? (You would be encouraging students to think about which ethnic groups might be more at risk)
Incorporating diversity into assessments
Ensure that diversity is incorporated into assessments. It can be challenging to incorporate diversity into assessments, but most assessment methods can accommodate elements of diversity.
Some of the limited information used in diversity education (for example the legislation and relevant policies that will vary from country to country) can be assessed using multiple choice questions.
Student reflections of their experiences of diversity in clinical practice can be included in student portfolios.
In clinical placements, clinical teachers can assess how students relate to patients and whether they are flexible in how they deal with different patients.