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Addressing Racism And Health Inequity Through Narrative Medicine

Purpose: This pilot study examines narrative medicine as a tool for Ob/Gyn resident education on racism in healthcare.


Background: Anti-racist education is a key strategy to dismantle the impact of health inequities and structural racism in healthcare. Narrative medicine is a pedagogical approach using critical reading and written reflection to foster empathic, patient-centered healthcare.


Methods: Residents at a racially diverse Ob/Gyn program serving predominantly patients of color participated in three narrative medicine sessions addressing structural racism. Sessions combined didactic presentations, literary and patient narratives, and writing prompts. Participants completed anonymous pre- and post-workshop surveys assessing personal socio-demographics, understanding of racism’s impact in healthcare, and self-assessed ability to address racism in clinical practice. Differences before and after the workshops were compared using ordinal logistic regression models.


Results: Thirty-two participants (70%) enrolled in the study: 53% identified as white, 47% as non-white. All agreed that race is linked to healthcare access and delivery inequities (mean 10-point Likert scale score 8.47). After completing the sessions participants had a significant increase in scores on their ability to identify strategies to combat racism in patient care (OR 3.3, CI 1.09-10.1), which was regardless of resident gender, race, or age.  94% of respondents reported benefitting from the session. 87.5% expressed interest in future sessions.


Discussions: Despite the high baseline awareness of racial healthcare inequities at an institution serving a racially diverse population, our results indicate narrative medicine workshops are a beneficial tool for Ob/Gyn residents to identify strategies to combat racism in their clinical practice.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2023, Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Professionalism, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, GME, Advocacy, General Ob-Gyn,

General Information

Resident,Faculty,Residency Director,
Professionalism,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Emma Chew-Murphy, MD; Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Montefiore Medical Center; Olivia Khouri, M.D., FACOG; Marlena Plagianos, Master of Science; Chavi Eve Karkowsky, MD; Talitha Bruney, MD; Sara Isani, MD

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