Specialty Disrespect

“One element of the hidden curriculum, encompassing unwarranted, negative, and denigrating comments made by trainees and physicians about different specialties.” (Alston, 2019)

In the fall of 2020, we surveyed Georgetown medical school students about their knowledge of specialty disrespect and how it has personally affected them. 71 students responded.

Poster #1:

[Background picture of female in surgery mask in yellow]

[At top]

“Specialty disrespect creates feelings of exclusion”

[Text enclosed in blocked quotes]

“Emergency Medicine is for people without attention spans/for people with ADHD”

[Banner at the bottom of the flyer]

On the left is the dark blue Office of Diversity and Inclusion Logo. On the right is a QR code that links to this webpage (som.georgetown.edu/specialty-respect). In the middle is “More than just a joke #ownyourimpact”

Poster #2:

[Background picture of male standing in surgery mask and doctors coat outside of hospital in blue]

[At top]

“Specialty disrespect perpetuates stereotypes”

[Text enclosed in blocked quotes]

“Anesthesiologists are the doctors that didn’t actually want to be doctors”

[Banner at the bottom of the flyer]

On the left is the dark blue Office of Diversity and Inclusion Logo. On the right is a QR code that links to this webpage (som.georgetown.edu/specialty-respect). In the middle is “More than just a joke #ownyourimpact”

Poster #3:

[Background picture of female in surgery mask and cap in pink]

[At top]

“Specialty disrespect can amplify inequity”

[Text enclosed in blocked quotes]

“Don’t go into OB/GYN unless you hate your life”

[Banner at the bottom of the flyer]

On the left is the dark blue Office of Diversity and Inclusion Logo. On the right is a QR code that links to this webpage (som.georgetown.edu/specialty-respect). In the middle is “More than just a joke #ownyourimpact”

Poster #4:

[Background picture of man in surgical PPE staring at his phone in red]

[At top]

“Specialty disrespect normalizes demeaning and untrue messages”

[Text enclosed in blocked quotes in yellow]

“You probably failed your step exam and had to settle for family medicine”

[Banner at the bottom of the flyer]

On the left is the dark blue Office of Diversity and Inclusion Logo. On the right is a QR code that links to this webpage (som.georgetown.edu/specialty-respect). In the middle is “More than just a joke #ownyourimpact”

Poster #5:

[Background picture of person in surgery mask, goggles, and cap in green]

[At top in yellow]

“Specialty disrespect can be the reason for one less physician”

[Text enclosed in blocked quotes in yellow]

“Why would someone waste their intelligence on dermatology? I want a specialty that actually helps people”

[Banner at the bottom of the flyer]

On the left is the dark blue Office of Diversity and Inclusion Logo. On the right is a QR code that links to this webpage (som.georgetown.edu/specialty-respect). In the middle is “More than just a joke #ownyourimpact”


Microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults (Sue et al., 2007)


Poster on Left:

[Blue and black striped poster, with words on each strip, describing bystander intervention methods][Words in alternating white and black font read]

DISTRACT, DIRECT, DELEGATE, DOCUMENT, DELAY

Poster in Middle:

[Top: two stick figures, with one pointing his hand to the other a speech bubble above head]

[Top Right: the title in black font reads]TAKE A.C.T.I.O.N

[The acronym in the title is elaborated in a list below the title in black font]

Ask: Clarifying questions to assist with understanding intentions.

Carefully listen: If they disagree with your paraphrase, you could end the conversation or make a statement about their initial comment. If they agree with your paraphrase, explore their intention further.

Tell others: What you observed as problematic in a factual manner. Impact consideration: Ask for or state the potential impact of such a statement or action.

Own your response: Own your own thoughts and feelings around the impact.

Next steps: Request appropriate action be taken and check in.

Poster on Right:

[Purple and dark purple infographic poster with five steps]

[Title in white font at the top reads]

TIPS TO RESPOND TO MICROAGGRESSION AND BIAS

[Subtitle in white font at the top right reads]

Adapted from Diane Goodman

[Step one in a white font and dark purple box reads]

01. Restate, clarify, acknowledge, and separate intent from impact

[Step two in a white font and purple blue box reads]

02. Share your process, express your feelings, and challenge the stereotype.

[Step three in a white font and purple box reads]

03. Promote empathy

[Step four in a white font and light purple box reads]

04. Appeal to values or pretend you don’t understand

[Step five in a white font and dark purple box reads]

05. Remind them of the rules


Specialty disrespect should not be minimized. Your words have real time consequences. Join us in signing the Specialty Respect Pledge, which recognizes your duty to create and sustain a culture of respect for all specialties.


Additional Resources


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