Examining intersectionality in anesthesiology training, academics, and practice

Daniel H. Gouger, Marie Sankaran Raval, Rashid S. Hussain, Alexandra Bastien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewIntersectionality, or the overlapping nature of social categorizations, such as race, class, and gender, creates interdependent systems of discrimination, disadvantage, and health disparities. The present review examines common shortcomings to diversity management, and proposes targeted improvement frameworks for anesthesiology departments that would offer competitive advantage in training, hiring, and retention, and improved care delivery aimed toward reducing health disparities.Recent findingsStudies highlight that physicians equipped to care for diverse populations enhance patient-doctor interactions and reduce health disparities. Moreover, untrained providers and staff who engage in disrespectful behaviors like microaggressions can lead to staff turnover and millions of dollars in lost revenue. Underrepresented minorities continue to have lower faculty academic rank in anesthesiology, fewer partnership opportunities in private practice, and disparate research funding. Diversity-based education and training often overlooks intersectionality and reductively illustrates diverse groups as internally homogenous. Even these developing diversity efforts have become politicized and are perceived as uninteresting, irrelevant to medical practice, or unable to create organizational change.SummaryThe synergy of intersectionality mounts considerable challenges that impact patients, colleagues, and communities of practice. Examining intersectionality in education and workplace policy affords tremendous opportunity for improving quality of care for marginalized populations, reducing healthcare costs, and normalizing culture that is inclusive, equitable, and empowering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Anaesthesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • diversity
  • equity, inclusion, and research
  • faculty development
  • health disparities
  • intersectionality
  • medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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