Taking the VITALS to Interrupt Microaggressions

Date of Review: May, 2022

This article describes a 60-minute workshop that was developed to combat microaggressions in clinical and academic settings using the VITALS tool, developed in 2016. The goal of this workshop was to provide students with ways to manage microaggressions in the moment as well as at future points in time when an individual is the target, perpetrator, or bystander. VITALS stands for validate, inquire, take time, assume, leave opportunities, and speak up. This workshop was separated into two parts: 1) a short and interactive large-group PowerPoint portion and 2) a small-group session where participants shared past experiences with microaggressions, followed by discussions encouraging the use of the VITALS tool to readdress these situations. Participants were provided pre- and postworkshop surveys that recorded their agreeableness and attitudes towards several categories, including recognition of personal stereotypes and biases, comfort in sharing personal experiences with people of different social identities, how likely they would challenge someone engaging in a microaggression and more. With some of the questions, participants rated high on agreeableness pre- and postworkshop survey, whereas with others there was a statistically significant increase from before to after the workshop. The authors found that this workshop is easily generalizable to participants at any stage of medical training or practice and that the workshop could be done virtually. The main limitation to be considered would be the length of the workshop. It is possible that a longer duration would be more beneficial to the participants. –Ashti Doobay Persaud, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



Ohio State University College of Medicine

Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner Satisfaction or reaction

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

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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