Diverse backgrounds and experiences of healthcare workers are essential to the progress and impact of clinical medicine. This book presents a collection of personal reflections, insights and ideas from about 50 authors from various backgrounds, who share their insights regarding diversity and inclusion in the field of medicine and medical research. Topics discussed by our authors reflect the increasing complexity of diversity in the field of medicine and related fields in terms of race/ethnicity, economic background, age, gender, sex and sexuality, among many others. Collectively, lessons learned from insights and stories presented in this book will broaden the readers perspective and create a fundamental framework of empathy and understanding. 

This book is essential reading for everyone who wants to maximize the power of diversity in the field of medicine and medical sciences, including health care professionals, scientists and administrators. Insights shared will be also useful for students, staff and faculty who are working in other fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEM). Readers of this book will develop an increased awareness and understanding of cultures and thought processes that are different than their own and thereby, increase their effectiveness in interpersonal communications and negotiations.

Anyone who has tried to conduct an orchestra knows how hard it is to bring the ensemble together: The trumpets may be overbearing, the violins may not play in harmony, the flute might not get heard. Sounds familiar? In medicine and biomedical research, we want to unite diverse team members with a wide range of abilities in order to create symphonies of medical care and innovation. To do this, we have to start with a mutual understanding of appreciation and respect for every team member. This will enable us to unleash every team members full potential and combine our unique skills towards a collaborative performance that is larger than any one of us could have achieved alone.

The book is composed of 11 chapters which provide detailed insights into different aspects of diversity in medicine. The book also discusses strengths and needs of trainees from diverse backgrounds, who are new to the academic environment. Each chapter starts with a summary of a specific diversity topic, followed by a list of actionable items that can help to seize specific opportunities and address biases and barriers. These actionable items can help the reader to foster diversity and inclusion in their own community and/or at their own institution. 

Since no single person can comprehensively reflect the broad range of different viewpoints and experiences, we invited authors from different backgrounds to share their unique insights. When reading these stories, the reader is encouraged to suspended judgment. The ability to listen first, integrate the provided information into existing knowledge, and then draw a conclusion will be a highly impactful skill learned from interactions with this book.

As our authors explain, some members of minority groups have experienced severe offenses by majority groups. Oppression in the environment of academic medicine can be associated with economic exploitation and lack of power of the minority group, unearned (not earned) advantages of the majority group, and biased thought processes and actions that discriminate and deprive the minority group. If minority members have to prove their worth over and over again, they cannot focus their creative energy towards productive contributions. 

Developing cultural competency of organizational leaders and team members can create a culture of fulfillment, creativity, productivity and prosperity. Recognizing unique skills, talents and insights of team members from diverse backgrounds will help the reader to broaden their perspectives, collaborate effectively and achieve symphonies of medical innovation.

Editor: Heike E. Daldrup-Link, MD

Release Date: May 26, 2021

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Monasteria Press LLC

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