A Workshop on Interrupting Microaggressions for a Surgical Service: An Opportunity for Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry to Address Bias and Inequity
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Despite the growing body of literature discussing the impact of microaggressions on health care providers and patients, there has been no discussion of microaggressions in consultation-liaison (C-L) psychiatry literature. INTERVENTION/METHODS:As a C-L fellow (JS) and an early career C-L psychiatrist (CW), we were asked to assist a surgical training program in creating a workshop on recognizing and interrupting microaggressions in the health care setting, particularly those directed towards providers. We describe the structure of our workshop and discuss the potential role for C-L psychiatrists in facing microaggressions. FINDINGS/RESULTS:Many workshop participants described having witnessed microaggressions but had not spoken about them and felt unsure about how to respond to them. Drawing on the interpersonal skills we use in our C-L work, we were able to educate and support the group as well as facilitate discussion and problem-solving. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:Our experience suggests that as C-L psychiatrists integrated within the medical system, we are well-suited to educate ourselves and our colleagues about microaggressions. Literature describing similar "liaison" roles suggests that work on microaggressions may be a reasonable expansion of our scope of practice and may offer a fruitful avenue for our field to facilitate progress.