HomeHealth Care NewsWokeness Enters the Exam Room

Wokeness Enters the Exam Room

To be credentialed by Michigan’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, physicians in the state must now undergo “implicit bias” training.

In a May 11 workshop entitled “Intersectionality: Examining Concepts of Privilege,” participants were given readings and videos to review. One such reading was a book entitled, “Racism Literally Makes You Sick.” In the book, author Mary-Frances Winters offers a “narrative reframing” of how Black people should view “racism” in health care. Some examples include the following:


  • Instead of saying “being Black is exhausting,” Winters suggests rephrasing that as “racism is exhausting.”
  • Instead of saying, “Black people are more prone to certain diseases. It is inevitable,” Winters suggest it is better to think “systemic racism affects my health. I need to understand the influence of white supremacy on my well-being and not internalize it.”
  • Instead of saying “I do not go to doctors because I do not trust them,” Winters tells readers to think, “I will seek out a Black doctor who I might feel more comfortable with.”

In summary, Winters states “racism is a significant factor contributing to health disparities that affect Black people.”

The workshop also had participants take an “Anonymous Qualtrics Privilege Activity Survey.” The survey then listed seven different identities:  ability, class, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexuality. Participants were then asked to review a set of statements to identify “privilege” within each of the groups. For example, one privilege listed was traveling with family outside of the country as a child.


-Staff reports


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