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Intent, Harm and Action: Understanding Bias, Discrimination and Racism in Healthcare

Dr. Sharda’s presentation explores the concept of bias and implicit bias. It challenges the notion that physicians are neutral’ and objective.’ She will provide definitions of bias, racism and colonialism and explain how power (personal and social) is needed to create and maintain systems of oppression. She will delineate systems vs interpersonal discrimination and how they feed into each other. Dr. Sharda will speak about intent vs impact (and harm) and provide examples from the healthcare context about how this harm can manifest to patients, physicians, and learners. She will introduce the ideas of privilege and oppression via the Coin Model of Privilege. Dr. Sharda’s presentation offers an approach for students, doctors and medical professionals to start their journey of learning and unlearning — drawing on the concepts of Miller’s Pyramid, narrative humility and critical allyship and provides guided opportunities to self-reflect on the concepts presented. A certificate of attendance will be provided to participants

Learning Objectives:

  • Define concepts of bias and discrimination including racism 
  • Describe how bias and discrimination affect healthcare outcomes and physician wellness
  • Describe the concepts of cultural humility and critical allyship as tools to combat discrimination

Speaker Bio: Dr. Saroo Sharda MBChB, MMEd, FRCPC is an anesthesiologist, medical educator, writer and trained creative writing coach. She identifies as a woman of colour of North Indian descent, who has the privilege of being cis-gender, straight, able-bodied and economically privileged.

She is an advocate for physician wellness, equity and anti-racism, and has written and spoken widely about these topics, including publications in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, British Medical Journal, The Globe and Mail and Today’s Parent.

Dr. Sharda is the Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion for the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and the inaugural Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, where she works as a Medical Advisor.

When not writing or working she works hard to avoid stepping on lego pieces strewn around the house by her 5 year-old and 8 year-old sons.

Accessibility: Closed captioning available for virtual session. Contact us for any other accessibility needs.