Building a Health Equity Curriculum for Anesthesia and Surgery Residents

Curriculum Format and Goals

UCSF medical students and Anesthesia Division of Global Health Equity Interns Rebecca Chen and Janette Tang were awarded an Honorable Mention by the UCSF Short Term Dean’s Prize in Research Committee for their work to develop a Health Equity Curriculum for surgery and anesthesia trainees.

The project was pursued as part of the UCSF Summer Explore Research Program and was designed to strengthen opportunities for health equity education in anesthesia and surgery residency programs. Rebecca and Janette worked with UCSF Anesthesia Division of Global Health Equity Intern Brianna Carreno and many other collaborators to develop the interactive, longitudinal curriculum to train surgery and anesthesia residents of all levels to recognize and address perioperative disparities in clinical practice. 

In addition to gaining a better understanding of “Safety Net Systems”, residents exposed to this curriculum are also trained in health disparities, social determinants of health, cultural humility, structural competency, structural racism and anti-racism. Community engagement, faculty mentorship, and hands-on learning are the hallmarks of the curriculum.

In the 2020 academic year, the team (see below) will pilot the curriculum, recruit and train curriculum facilitators, and integrate the program into the mandatory curriculum for anesthesia and surgery residents, as well as assess its effectiveness. 

Want to learn more about this topic, see the curriculum or create a similar curriculum for your institution? Contact the UCSF Anesthesia Division of Global Health Equity, at [email protected], and see the list of references below.

Project Team

Beti Asnake (primary faculty mentor), Brianna Carreno, Michael Lipnick, Bunmi Okunlola, Odi Ehie, Tyler Law, Elliot Wollner, Maytinee Lilaonitkul, Doruk Ozgediz, Caitlin Collins, Sarah Mohamedaly, Mignote Yilma, Erica Langnas, Shoka Marefat, the CURAM Team, and Summer Explore.


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  4. Jogerst K, Callender B, Adams V, et al. Identifying interprofessional global health competencies for 21st-century health professionals. Ann Glob Health 2015; 81: 239-47.
  5. Goyal MK, et al. Racial Disparities in Pain Management of Children With Appendicitis in Emergency Departments. JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Nov;169(11):996-1002. 
  6. Baetzel A, et al. Adultification of Black Children in Pediatric Anesthesia. Anesth Analg.2019;129(4):1118‐1123. 
  7. Hoffman et al. “Racial bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations, and false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 113,16 (2016)
  8. Liu FW, et al. Racial disparities and patterns of ovarian cancer surgical care in California. Gynecol Oncol.2014 Jan;132(1):221-6.
  9. Todd, Knox H. et al. "Ethnicity And Analgesic Practice". Annals Of Emergency Medicine, vol 35, no. 1, 2000, pp. 11-16.