American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Diversity Resouces

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has put together the following resources on Diversity and Cultural Competency to assist surgeons with the challenges they may face.  Click on a box below to explore the resources we have compiled.

  • Needs Assessment Tools
  • Cultural Competency at Work
  • Recognizing Implicit Bias
  • Creating Diverse Surgical Team

Diversity Resources

Needs Assessment Tools

Diversity, inclusion, and equity can be promoted at both the individual and organizational level. Take a test! Assessment tools can provide a stimulus to implement change and elucidate deficiencies. Below are links to nationally recognized assessment tools:

Project Implicit
Project Implicit is the product of a team of scientists whose research produced new ways of understanding attitudes, stereotypes and other hidden biases that influence perception, judgment, and action. They have created a tool to help you elucidate your biases.

National CLAS Standards
The HHS-Office of Minority Health established the Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competency in Health Care (CLCCHC). They created the National CLAS Standards, which includes guidelines that inform, guide, and facilitate both required and recommended practices related to culturally and linguistically appropriate health services. This resource will help you determine whether your institution is meeting national standards in delivering culturally competent care.

Cultural Competency at Work

In order to provide effective and equitable care for patients of all backgrounds, surgeons must recognize and understand the potential influence of culture, divergent beliefs, and values on the ways in which patients and their families seek and receive care as well as the way in which we—as individual surgeons, a profession, and institutions—deliver care. These resources provide an introduction to the key tenets of cultural competence for the surgeon at the individual and institutional level.

Cultural Competence: Why surgeons should care
Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons

Assessing Change: Evaluating Cultural Competence Education and Training
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Culture, Language and Health Literacy
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

An Overview of Cultural Competency Curricula in ACGME-accredited General Surgery Residency Programs
Journal of Surgical Education

Recognizing Implicit Bias

There is increasing recognition of the role implicit bias plays in health care disparities, including for surgical patients.  Implicit bias may also impact on how we interact with our colleagues, trainees and other members of the health care team. As implicit bias operates in an unintentional and often unconscious manner, it can exert its influence on the way in which we care for and communicate with patients and team members silently. Below we present a series resources on recognizing implicit bias in our practices, as well as a series of quick tests for testing one’s own implicit biases in the workplace.

Unconscious Race and Social Class Bias among Acute Care Surgical Clinicians and Clinical Treatment Decisions
Journal of the American Medical Association

Unconscious (Implicit) Bias and Health Disparities: Where Do We Go from Here?
The Permanente Journal

Implicit Bias and Its Relation to Health Disparities: A Teaching Program and Survey of Medical Students
Teaching and Learning in Medicine: An International Journal

Self-Awareness and Cultural Identity as an Effort to Reduce Bias in Medicine
Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Don't Give Up on Unconscious Bias Training—Make It Better
Harvard Business Review

Creating Diverse Surgical Teams

Diverse teams have been shown to be more effective, creative, and successful. Much of our understanding of diversity within teams comes from the business and management literature, but more recently there have been efforts to extend this to the setting of health care teams, including surgical teams. The resources below provide some theory, evidence and tips on how to foster diversity in the workplace and in the health care team.

AAMC Diversity 3.0 Learning Series
The Association of American Medical College’s (AAMC’s) Diversity Policy and Programs has developed a set of online, on-demand video resources on a range of diversity and inclusion topics. The Diversity 3.0 Learning Series includes interviews with thought leaders and experts, faculty career development webinars, guidance on institutional strategic planning and culture and climate assessment, and presentations on innovative programs at AAMC member institutions.

The Case for Diversity in the Health Care Workforce
HealthAffairs.org

Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable—and That’s Why They Perform Better
Harvard Business Review

Does Diversity Pay? Race, Gender and the Business Case for Diversity
American Sociological Review

Collaboration: Strength in diversity
Nature