Just in TIME: Trauma-Informed Medical Education

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2020 Oct 1;1-7. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00881-w. Online ahead of print.


Numerous organizations implement a trauma-informed approach. This model assists institutions in providing care and education that delivers support to members who have undergone traumatic experiences, and many institutions apply the principles as a universal precaution. Student and trainee experiences in medical education reveal a hidden curriculum that may deliver conflicting messages about the values of an institution, in which equity is promoted, but biased and discriminatory practices are commonplace. Implicit racial bias has been identified in the patient-provider interaction and may also extend its impact on the learner experience. Bias and discrimination inflict trauma on its targets via emotional injury. Applying the principles of the trauma-informed approach, we advocate for trauma-informed medical education (TIME). TIME fosters awareness that students and trainees can experience trauma from a biased system and culture and advocates for the establishment of policies and practices that support learners to prevent further re-traumatization. TIME will serve as a means to deliver just and equitable education.

Keywords: Discrimination; Education; Implicit bias; Medicine; Racial bias; Racism; Trauma-informed; Unconscious bias.