We were delighted to have Delicia Haynes, MD return to Hint Summit 2022 this year to speak on a very important topic of overcoming personal biases in care delivery. Often, it is difficult to have real conversations about DEI because “we don’t create a safe space first.” A space where it is acceptable to disagree or to have another viewpoint promotes safety.
Dr. Haynes sets some ground rules with the audience:
- No judgment (don’t judge yourself or other people)
- No repercussions (whatever is said here, stays here)
- Unconditional respect (no matter what is said)
A vital place to start when it comes to personal bias is to become more self-aware and uncover your individual implicit biases by taking a test so Dr. Delicia invites everyone to do this and offers a gentle reminder to not judge yourself. There are biases that we are aware of and others that we are not. Doctors often think of themselves as being in a very noble profession. There was one situation where Dr. Haynes encountered a physician who thought that everyone should trust doctors because they “always do what is in the best interest of their patients.”
“Yes it is a noble profession, but we’re also the profession of Dr. Sims who performed surgeries on enslaved African American women without anesthesia, and then opened up a hospital in New York to take care of white women, where he used anesthesia - that’s also our profession.” - Delicia Haynes, MD
Not only do biases affect us on the conscious level, but many also affect us on a subconscious level. Implicit biases can creep in easily, particularly “when physicians are overwhelmed."
Delicia Haynes, MD guides the audience through inclusivity via the 5 Senses.
Touch - how you patients can get in contact with you
Taste - your style of practicing medicine
Smell - how your office is accented with scent (most important thing is cleanliness)
Sight - how you present visually at your office and on your website
Sound - videos of who you are and who you're not so people get familiar with you
It is crucial to consider your environment overall and ensure that it is clean and welcoming but also functional.
When it comes to inclusion, look around on your website, social media, staff, etc. and ask yourself the question, “who is missing?”
Dr. Haynes reminds the audience that before we can properly take care of others, we need to adequately take care of ourselves.
“Fill your cup; serve from your overflow” - Lisa Nichols
“Never let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired because we make terrible decisions at the extremes of all of those.”
- Referenced from a Charles Stanley sermon
“When we expand and are more inclusive and are intentional about it, we give other people a chance for them to be themselves, and for us to be ourselves.” - Dr. Delicia Haynes
Watch the video to hear Decilia Haynes, MD’s personal story of overcoming implicit bias by taking herself through the safe space agreements with a new patient and promoting inclusivity in her field of direct primary care and family medicine.