December RFM Corner -  Daniel Yang, M.D. (Alternative Spokane Rep.: 2020- 2021)

I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel different when I come to work. I feel it when I tell patients that my name is Dr. Yang. I feel it when they tell me that they're afraid of getting COVID from me. I'll always feel different, but I made the mistake of thinking that it's all I would know.

Our program provides an hour resident-only "T-group" session every Thursday where we can share some of the things we've been dealing with. There was one session where I came in after a delirious patient made some racists comments about me. I was really frustrated and just needed to vent, but I was very nervous to share. I'm the only minority in my cohort, and my previous experiences with talking about these things with white people were rarely pleasant. Simply put, I was biased. It wasn't an easy conversation but we shared our candid thoughts and created a space where we could learn and grow from each other. 

I wanted to do more to promote this kind of space throughout our residency and joined the resident Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) subcommittee. This subcommittee of residents and attendings across multiple subspecialties is passionate about developing educational strategies that will promote a culture of inclusion throughout our residencies and hospital systems. Currently, DEI is providing an ever-growing list of resources for self-directed learning with hopes of developing a curriculum that can be implemented throughout the residency programs in the Providence system. It's been an exciting and humbling experience to work with a group of people that is so open-minded and motivated to enact change in our community.