In medicine and medical research, cultural competence and diversity aren’t just solely social topics. They are key variables to be cognizant of when communicating with, treating and researching patients.

As of October 2018, only 35 percent of physicians in the U.S. identified as women. Even fewer U.S. physicians identified as a person of color: 4.1 percent identified as black, 4.4 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino, 0.4 percent identified as Native American, and 11.7 percent identified as Asian. Unfortunately, these demographics do not reflect the population of the U.S. and communities that physicians serve.

Although physicians take and abide by an oath to care for all humans, we are not immune to being myopic about the experiences of those who are different than us. Our limited experience often leads us to make assumptions or use stereotypes as shortcuts to try and make sense of the world around us....

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