Mitigating Microaggressions in Medical Education Through the TRAUMA Framework

Acad Med. 2024 Mar 7. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005676. Online ahead of print.


Microaggressions are defined as brief communications directed at members of a stigmatized group that are received as derogatory but are unrecognized by the offender. Studies show microaggressions are detrimental to those of all identities who endure them. Given that microaggressions can result in specific emotional, psychological, and physical challenges for underrepresented medical students from minoritized backgrounds, it is imperative that the medical education community focus efforts on reducing them and their impact through appropriate responses. The TRAUMA framework was developed by the authors and can be used to organize a thorough response to the threat that microaggressions create for all students. The framework includes improved student support, guidelines for faculty and institutional responses to microaggressions, improved faculty development for addressing microaggressions, recommendations to improve classroom environments, and interventions both to create and measure culture change in medical education.