Description of a novel curriculum on equity, diversity and inclusion for pediatric residents

J Natl Med Assoc. 2021 Jun 22;S0027-9684(21)00096-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jnma.2021.05.014. Online ahead of print.


Background: Accreditation standards in medical education require curricular elements dedicated to understanding diversity and addressing inequities in health care. The development and implementation of culturally effective care curricula are crucial to improving health care outcomes, yet these curricular elements are currently limited in residency training.

Methods: A needs assessment of 125 pediatric residents was conducted that revealed minimal prior culturally effective care instruction. To address identified needs, an integrated, longitudinal equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) curriculum was designed and implemented at a single institution using Kern's Framework. This consisted of approximately 25 h of instruction including monthly didactics and sessions which addressed (1) EDI definitions and history and (2) microaggressions. A mixed methods evaluation was used to assess the curricular elements with quantitative summary of resident session scores and a qualitative component using in-depth content analysis of resident evaluations. Thematic analysis was used to code qualitative responses and identify common attitudes and perceptions about the curricular content.

Results: 109/125 (87.2%) residents completed the needs assessment. Over one year, 323 resident evaluations were collected for curricular sessions. Average overall quality rating for sessions was 4.7 (scale 1-5), and 85% of comments included positive feedback. Key themes included lecture topic relevance, adequate time to cover the content, need for screening tools and patient resources, importance of patient case examples to supplement instruction, and novel/ "eye opening" content. In addition, several broader institutional impacts of the curriculum were noted such as recognizing the need for comprehensive support for residents of color, corresponding EDI faculty training, and a resident reporting system to identify learning climate issues.

Conclusions: The implementation of a comprehensive resident EDI curriculum was feasible earning positive evaluations in its first year, with requests for additional content. It has also spurred multiple institution-wide ripple effects. Suggestions for improvement included more case-based learning, skills practice, and simulation. Future steps include expansion of this EDI curriculum to faculty and examining its impact in resident of color affinity groups. Given ACGME requirements to improve training addressing equity and social determinants of health, this curriculum development process serves as a possible template for other training programs.

Keywords: Curriculum; Diversity; Equity; Graduate medical education; Inclusion.