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      Power of the English Language: Recommendations to reduce impact of microaggression in medical education settings for racially and linguistically diverse students.

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            Microaggressions are slowly replacing overt discrimination in higher education settings and impacting underrepresented students’ overall wellbeing and academic success. This, in turn, further mitigates the effort to make medical schools and the US healthcare force more representative of the growing and diverse US population. Microaggressions, however, are powerful because they are discrete actions and attitudes that are discriminatory in nature, even if not meant as such by the perpetrator.The framework we use to make microaggressions visible and strip them of their derogatory power and their negative impact revolves around four pillars. These four pillars involve Training, Responding, Microaffirmations and Providing. Training refers to the continuous training of faculty and leaders of an institution to ensure effectiveness of the training and implementation of the learning outcomes into institution’s daily activities. Responding means open communication between student and faculty, without fear of personal or academic repercussion, and acknowledgement and elimination of microaggressive terms such as color blind. Microaffirmations are subtle nods meant to provide positive reinforcement to all students and specifically culturally, racially and linguistically diverse students, demonstrating that they are being listened to like other students. Providing means for the institution to provide a safe and diverse learning environment that is exemplified beyond just the student body. Institutions should diversify their leadership as to reinforce the school’s diverse ethos. Next steps and future research should focus on expanding research on microaggressions toward non-native English speakers and improve on these guidelines to ensure implementation of a culturally responsive curriculum for faculty and clinical instructors in institutions across the nation.


            Author and article information

            ScienceOpen Preprints
            23 August 2022
            [1 ] Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University
            [2 ] Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Department of Health and Human Performance, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Program, Middle Tennessee State University, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132
            [3 ] EdD, LCSW, MS-HAS, Clinical Associate Professor, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Virtual Academic Center
            Author notes
            Author information

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

            : 23 August 2022

            All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).
            Linguistics & Semiotics,Health & Social care
            power, microaggressions, medical education, humanities, underrepresented students


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