Why Assume When You Can Ask?

By: Leah Robinson  

Rahel’s first day in the Population, Patient, and Physician course surprised her. As the only student underrepresented in medicine (URM) in her small group, she felt both isolated and powerless by her preceptor’s assumptions about her identity and stigmatized by her classmates’ silence. Three days later, she was conflicted because her thoughts and emotions about the first day had multiplied. Not only did she not know how to process the experience, she did not know who to talk to in the School of Medicine administration. What is the best way to help the student manage this incident? How can her experience be used as a teachable moment for providing a more inclusive climate and culture in the preceptor’s classroom? Was is the big deal anyway? Rahel’s journey and revelations are detailed in a book chapter titled “Did Implicit Bias Further Disenfranchise an Underrepresented Student?” in Exploring Campus Diversity: Case Studies and Exercises (in press, 2018). Co-author, Dr. Leah Robinson uses a case study framework to engage participants in this presentation to actively taking multiple points of view, identify underlying assumptions about race, ethnicity, and identity, and develop strategies that enable better communication and inclusion in and out of the classroom.

Implicit bias, Power, Silence, Cultural identity, Race, Ethnicity, Microaggression
Identity and Belonging
Workshop Presentation

Leah Robinson

Director of Academic Support, Office Of Diversity and Inclusion, Wayne State University, United States
MI, United States

A higher education professional with teaching, administrative, and counseling experience and expertise with diverse student populations in the United States and Middle East. A skilled problem-solver with the ability to design, develop, implement, and evaluate solutions. Focused on student-centered evidence-based best practices, technology integration, and performance improvment.