27 January 2021

Diversity training at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Girl in front of computer

A novel course that aims to strengthen the focus on diversity in the educational programmes.

MESU has for many years worked with diversity competences and in 2013 we conducted a study among medical teachers at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH, which showed that it was widely acknowledged that diversity competences should be part of the education of medical doctors to a greater extent. Additionally, 70% of the informants, who participated in the study, expressed an interest in receiving diversity competence education and training.

In 2019 MESU received funding from EIT Health to pilot a course in diversity competence for medical teachers in collaboration with Ghent University.

The intended target group for the course was medical teachers at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and in particular clinical teachers. Due to COVID-19 the hospitals were not inclined to let staff engage in continuous training, which meant that we did not receive many registrations for the course. We therefore expanded the target group to also include teachers from the Public Health, Global Health and Health & Informatics programmes. We ended up with a participation of 16 teachers from University of Copenhagen. At Ghent University they managed to recruit 25 participants.

The course was designed to be easily accessible and not very time consuming (2x2 hours excluding preparations between first and second session), since most medical teachers have busy schedules. The focal point of the course was the participants’ own teaching, which was evaluated with a focus on problem recognition, solutions and peer feedback. Participants were also introduced to basic theories and concepts within diversity competences.

The course took place during September, October and November 2020 which meant that the course in Copenhagen was held face-to-face as intended, but our colleagues in Ghent had to give their last session online due to the complete lock-down of Belgium in the end of October. The course went well, and all participants were engaged and very constructive, which produced a lively discussion also about some of the more sensitive topics like identity, bias and privileged. The participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire before and after the course in order for us to monitor if their knowledge and awareness of diversity had increased.

The course was part of the EIT Health project Improving diversity sensitivity in health care – training for health professionals (IMPRODISE). You can read more about the project here.

Written by Allan Krasnik, Marie Louise Nørredam and Janne Sørensen