“I Didn’t Know What to Say”: Responding to Racism, Discrimination, and Microaggressions With the OWTFD Approach

Date of Review: September, 2020

This workshop, from MedEdPORTAL, developed and implemented at the University of Indiana, was focused on addressing racism, discrimination, and microaggressions among students, trainees, faculty, and other practitioners. The workshop used multiple techniques to engage learners, but one of the most notable was an “Observe/Why?/Think/Feel/Desire” framework for responding to racist incidents and microaggressions. Critically, the presenters and facilitators had prerequisite knowledge in the topics being discussed, and the authors recommend that others cultivate partnerships with local experts to ensure that “brave spaces” for conversation and dialogue are created. This intervention has the ability to be quite impactful, but requires skill and careful attention to craft an equivalent experience to the one described.. –Beth Anne Scharle, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



Indiana University

Where was the Curriculum Implemented:

Bloomington, IN

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner Satisfaction or reaction

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner behavior in simulated setting

Self-reported learner behavior in a real patient setting

Outcome and Study Design:


Level of Learner Assessment:

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self-reflection, blogging with rubric)

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