Microaggressions in Clinical Medicine

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 2018;28(4):411-449. doi: 10.1353/ken.2018.0024.


This paper proposes a victim-centered account of microaggressions within the context of clinical medicine. In so doing, it argues that microaggressions can undermine physician-patient relationships, preclude relationships of trust, and therefore compromise the kind and quality of care that patients deserve. Ultimately, by focusing on the experiences of victims of microaggressions, the paper demonstrates how harmful microaggressions in clinical medical contexts can be, and thus provides strong reasons why healthcare providers ought to know about them and actively work to avoid committing them.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression*
  • Clinical Medicine*
  • Health Personnel
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Personhood
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Prejudice*