Words Matter: An Antibias Workshop for Health Care Professionals to Reduce Stigmatizing Language

Date of Review: May, 2023

This resource from MedEdPORTAL reviews frameworks and techniques to reduce stigmatizing language in a variety of healthcare settings, as well as identification of implicit biases and how these correlate with patient care. The design is a single session 90 minute workshop that includes reflective exercises, demonstrations via skits, a brief didactic, and some intermixed small group activities with large group discussion at the conclusion. This curriculum would be easy to implement in clinical training, to all members of a healthcare team in every specialty and could easily be implemented for students in clinical clerkships as well as residents and fellows. It. Its strengths include workshop activities for learners to collaborate during and work through as they identify stigmatizing language and determine more appropriate verbiage to implement into their daily practice. Research is also presented, informing learners how susceptible the attitudes of providers are toward their patients to stigmatizing language used during sign out or in reviewing a patient’s chart within their medical record. The curriculum is limited in time, however, with the greatest feedback by previous attendees of this workshop is that they wish there was more time for discussion. A single session is easy to integrate and I would use this one component of a larger curriculum focusing on antibias training, participants provide feedback on areas that could be expanded as well in the manuscript. –Cassandra Smith, MD (edited by Ashti Doobay-Persaud, MD)

Corresponding Author’s Email:



Stanford University School of Medicine

Where was the Curriculum Implemented:

Palo Alto, CA

Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner Satisfaction or reaction

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

Outcome and Study Design:

Post Only

Level of Learner Assessment

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

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