The Specialist Services Committee (SSC) hosted an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Workshop on June 10, 2023, bringing together 96 family physicians and specialists from across BC to gain insights, skills, and tools for everyday practice of EDI. The workshop was designed to:
- Highlight critical components of compassionate leadership.
- Equip physicians and health care professionals with the necessary tools to address conflicts, discrimination, and bullying from an EDI perspective.
- Emphasize the value of diversity.
- Showcase the significance of recognizing personal biases, and understanding their effects on interactions with patients, families, or fellow health professionals.
Guest speaker Dr Sanjiv Chopra, Harvard Medical School Professor of Medicine and former Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education presented his keynote speech on the evolving needs of leadership as the medical profession grows, adapting to the changing requirements of patients. Additionally, Dr Chopra facilitated a group brainstorming session on the hallmarks of effective leadership. Participants enjoyed the activity and found his presentation enlightening, one mentioning that they “plan to practice some of the skills and demonstrate behaviours identified by Dr Chopra in my work.”
Dr Naznin Virji-Babul, UBC Associate Professor and Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women and Gender-Diverse Faculty at UBC, provided insight into the reality of implicit bias, emphasizing how humans often form biases, unconsciously. Her emphasis was that be acknowledging the influence of these biases, each person becomes aware of potential negative behaviors, which in turn can provide a motivation to change
Feedback related to Dr Virji-Babul presentation were strongly positive, with one physician stating that “Dr Naznin Virji-Babul’s talk was the best part of the day.”
A Conflict Theatre session offered a unique approach to examining bias, equity, and inclusion and introduced a new angle on tackling obstacles in the workplace. The team designed tailor-made conflict scenes which were acted out based on lived experiences. The session explored blockages to productive and authentic communication in situations with real-life applications.
The evaluation results of the workshop reinforced the value of the interactive structure of the day with 94% of respondents indicating their support for this style of presentation. “The ability to connect with others,” was a primary theme in the participant’s responses.
Attendees said the event helped them “become more aware of unintended bias” and encouraged them to “be respectful of diversity and not judge people by face.”