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Effective Communication for Leading Diverse Clinical Teams

J Pollard-Larkin1*, L Cervino2*, K Hendrickson3*, S Avery4*, T Juang5*, E Ford6*, M Mahesh7*, (1) The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, (3) University of Washington, Seattle, WA, (4) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, (5) UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA, (6) University of Washington, Seattle, WA, (7) Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD


(Wednesday, 7/15/2020) 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: Track 6

This session will provide an overview for how to leverage the diverse perspectives in your Medical Physics practice and work more effectively as an inclusive team. Medical Physics research and clinical based teams with physicists from a multitude of ethnic, racial and other backgrounds work alongside therapists, physicians, dosimetrists and other specialists with various backgrounds of their own, this creates the perfect atmosphere for misunderstandings. The foundation for strong group dynamics is effective communication. Effective communication is unequivocal and gets the speaker’s point understood by the recipient. We will provide successful communication styles and strategies aimed at reducing misunderstandings, delay and potential radiation therapy treatment related errors in a diverse setting. Several groups have published on the importance and benefits of embracing diversity in a workplace. But few have focused directly on how to embrace, celebrate and build upon the unique perspectives seen in the Medical Physics setting. We will describe what diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging mean. There are several strategies that exist to help improve inclusion and prevent unconscious bias which can derail a group dynamic and slow a group’s progress. Unconscious bias, the subconsciously held stereotypical beliefs we think about others and groups outside of our own identity group, are damaging to progress in a group setting. We will detail strategies that help to combat such bias and help women and underrepresented groups not only participate in the group dynamic, but feel like they belong and thrive in it along with everyone else.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the meanings of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
2. Learn the definition of unconscious bias and practice strategies to combat it.
3. Describe effective communication and identify tools for empowering underrepresented groups and women in your practice to benefit the entire team’s group dynamics.



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