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Color Me Out: Discrimination and Perceptions of Institutional Response

Purpose: To examine experiences of discrimination and microaggressions in our obstetrics and gynecology department and perceptions of the institution’s responsiveness.


Background: Studies have demonstrated that discrimination exists within medicine, and that it impacts physician satisfaction and retention. 


Methods: All obstetrics and gynecology faculty and residents were invited to complete an anonymous, IRB-approved survey from February-June 2019. The survey incorporated questions from validated questionnaires.


Results: The response rate was 58% (87/151). Thirty respondents (35%) identified as non-Caucasian. Fifty-five respondents (63%) reported experiencing microaggressions at work, and of those, 25% experienced microaggressions several times per week. Thirty-three respondents (38%) experienced discrimination. Of the 69 respondents (79%) who experienced microaggressions and/or discrimination, 67% felt their experiences were due to gender, and 16% felt they were due to race/ancestry. Fifteen respondents (22%) who experienced microaggressions and/or discrimination felt the institution would not effectively address their concerns, and 25% did not believe diversity was managed effectively.


Discussions: Most physicians experienced microaggressions or discrimination, with gender or race/ancestry as common inciting factors. A small but significant portion expressed concerns regarding the institution’s effectiveness in managing discrimination and diversity. These findings merit further investigation about how to address discrimination in medicine and how to institute change. 

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2020, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Residency Director, Professionalism, GME, UME, Advocacy, General Ob-Gyn,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Residency Director,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Huma Farid, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School; Rose Molina, MD; Hannah Stack-Dunnbier; Catherine Nosal, MD; Michele Hacker, PhD; Monica Mendiola, MD

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