Systemic Disease–Bias in Medicine and how YOU can make a difference

April 04, 2016

Systemic Disease is an online platform seeking to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of bias in medicine and facilitate student advocacy efforts. As healthcare providers-in-training, we recognize that openly discussing bias is a crucial first step to counter it. Everyone holds implicit biases that can cause us to make automatic judgments without the intention to harm. Since such bias has been shown to adversely impact the patients we seek to serve, it is vital to begin identifying these biases within ourselves and others. Only then can we prevent such biases from interfering with our clinical decisions and behaviors with colleagues, students, and others. 

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As part of our mission to eradicate the systemic disease of bias and injustice in medicine, we have the following goals:

  1. Gather stories from people who interface with the medical field at all levels in order to give voice to the biases that permeate the medical establishment. 
  2. Create an online community to foster support and solidarity among those who share their narratives and who visit the website. 
  3. Use our stories to advocate for change such as improved counseling and support services for trainees experiencing bias, more robust or more transparent bias-reporting systems, and curricular reform to expand instruction on bias in medicine and health inequity.

Next week, we are excited to conduct our first storytelling as advocacy event in NYC. We will be collaborating with the Muslim Writers Collective and other experienced storytellers in thinking deeply about effective storytelling as a means for a call to action in heath justice. You can find more information here and below.

Reflections on Identity and Healthcare

Friday, April 15

6-9 PM

Columbia University, Hamilton Hall

1130 Amsterdam Ave, New York, New York 10027

In the meantime, please continue to share your stories and encourage your peers and colleagues to do so as well. Together, we can bring a much-needed conversation on bias in medicine beyond closed doors.

Want to learn more?  Contact Systemic Disease at  systemic.disease@gmail.com and on Twitter @SystemicDisease.