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Comment & Response
September 13, 2016

Microaggressions During Medical Training

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco
  • 2Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California-Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles
JAMA. 2016;316(10):1113-1114. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11619

To the Editor Dr Montenegro described the insidious climate of microaggressions that often negatively shapes the experiences of underrepresented physicians during medical school, residency training, and clinical practice.1

During medical education and training, underrepresented physicians attain clinical knowledge but often must prove to colleagues, and sometimes to themselves, that they belong.2 The number of studies on the importance of resilience and its role in overcoming difficult life events is rapidly expanding. Yet resilience places the onus entirely on the individual who is struggling to find inner strength and resources for success, essentially absolving the culture and social context that creates toxic stress. Medical schools and teaching centers should equip faculty and students with self-awareness of the potential untoward effects imparted by unconscious bias and microaggressions in all aspects of health care.

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