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ACEhp CPD Pulse Points September Edition: Our Role in Decreasing Bias

In April, the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) began a weekly series of webinars called "CPD Pulse Points." In each session, Chitra Subramanian, current ACEhp president, has a conversation with a guest about a topic relevant to healthcare continuing professional development (CPD) today. Access is free for ACEhp members. Non-members can attend the live sessions for $5 or purchase a recording for $25. Each session is recorded and made available for learners who are unable to attend the live meeting, so if any of the sessions sound interesting to you, they are available for viewing in full.

As this series has continued, the topics for each month have become less specifically related, so the sessions held in September don't have a unifying theme beyond healthcare CPD. There were three sessions held in September as this series took the week of Labor Day off. One session was a case study from the Cleveland Clinic's CE program (9/17), and one was a great session on instructional design for online learning (9/24), but it was the first session on anti-racism that led to a discussion that could have continued for hours (9/10).

As part of my MPH, I worked on designing CPD to reduce the disparity in infant mortality rates between white families and black families where I live in Kalamazoo County. My job was to design a CPD curriculum. And it was frustrating because, as we all know, CPD is not something that we can do alone. It requires a team. So while I could say that the first course needed to be on the role of racism in creating an inequitable healthcare system that leads to higher rates of infant mortality, I was not the entire committee, and they chose to start with the much easier topic of the role of cannabis in pregnancy outcomes. Important for reducing infant mortality rates? Sure. A way to address the problems that underly our healthcare system? Not so much.

As I listened to last month's conversation about antiracism in healthcare CPD, I kept thinking about that project and that curriculum and how it had so much potential. I no longer work with that organization, so I'm not sure if they ever used any of the modules I designed. I know that the rest of the committee cares deeply about the systemic problems shown by infant mortality rates in our community. Their hearts are in the right place. But this is an excellent example of how we may have the best of intentions and yet find ourselves unable to enact change where it is needed. I try to give you all of the highlights in these posts because I know that you might not be able to purchase a $25 recording, but if there is just one that you do choose to buy, I strongly recommend this one. The slides simply do not capture the discussion.

But, as I noted, this is not the only session, so here are some key takeaways from the entire month.

Key Takeaways:
  • 1). We should focus on structural (or systemic) racism. This is not about individual behaviors or attitudes and instead focuses on policy and practice. And if there's one thing that we try to change in CPD, it's practice!
  • 2). Five biases commonly seen in the workplace are affinity bias (in-group vs out-group), confirmation bias, agism, name bias, and gender bias. In our self-work, we can start by recognizing these biases within ourselves and our workplaces
  • 3). Instead of the "5 Stages of Grief," think of those stages as a canyon. On one side there is the loss. As we fall down that side, there is shock, denial, anger, fear, panic.At the bottom there is loneliness, guilt, isolation, and depression. Then we start working our way up the other side. It isn't easy, but we form new relationships and build new strengths until we are again able to help others and find ourselves at the top on the other side of the canyon at a place where the loss still exists, but we have adjusted to it.(You can find a graphic of this in the slides from the session on 9/17)
  • 4). Engage your audience from the start by asking them to do something such as saying hello in the chat or answering a survey question. Then give them time do so. Try counting to nine after asking the question
  • 5). Be aware of bandwidth when teaching online. Video uses a lot of bandwidth. So do fancy animations and transitions. This doesn't mean that you should never use these features but be sure to use them appropriately so that your learners have a smooth viewing experience
  • 6). Online education takes teamwork. If possible, have a moderator to keep track of questions and a producer to keep track of tech issues. This leaves the presenter free to be a teacher

The following are the sessions held in September.

September CPD Pulse Points
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