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Faulty perceptions may slow move to more diversity among health-care leaders

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Map shows counties in the U.S. by nonwhite population (i.e., excluding non-Hispanic whites) according to the U.S. Census BureauAmerican Community Survey 2013–2017 5-Year Estimates. Counties with larger nonwhite populations than the United States as a whole are in full purple.

An article in NEJM Catalyst looks at three steps toward more diversity and inclusiveness in the leaderships of health-care institutions.

Among the authors’ remarks:

“Leaders of many medical schools and health systems who are seeking to improve diversity must acknowledge a plain fact: their ecosystem is mostly white and predominantly male. Furthermore, their perceptions of what leadership is or should be may impede progress. … There is increasing evidence that greater diversity among teams is associated with higher performance. The authors offer three recommendations for health care leaders and their boards: (1) recognize that diversity is necessary but will not, alone, create a just and inclusive culture; (2) be aware that every leader is at risk for blind spots; and (3) appreciate that concepts of leadership and stereotypical traits of leaders among existing leaders may limit efforts for cultural inclusiveness and operational success.”

They authors conclude:
“{T}eams …. must also recognize that their perceptions of the inclusiveness of their culture may be influenced by blind spots and unduly optimistic. They also should start questioning whether their definitions of good leaders may be too rigid and narrow. ”

To read the article, please hit this link.

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