Creating supportive learning environments: The role of the medical educator

Clin Teach. 2021 May 14. doi: 10.1111/tct.13367. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Systemic problems of discrimination plague diversity and inclusion efforts in medical education globally. Medical educators need to acknowledge that learners are dealing with considerable emotional and perhaps social and economic stress and that this stress is likely worse for minoritized learners. In this milieu, what is the role of the medical educator? This article takes an inclusive approach to supporting students and explores various threads in the medical education literature to provide a roadmap for medical educators. This article traces the medical educator's journey with (1) understanding why medical students need educators to intervene, (2) exploring how to create a space for dialog, and (3) beginning the conversation with medical students. It ends with a series of concrete suggestions for medical educators.

Keywords: GME; UME; difficult conversations; empathy; faculty development; medical educators; medical school faculty.