Three Traits of Inclusion

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Are you considering these big ideas in your efforts?

What do you think of when you hear the word inclusion? When you examine your life (friends, co-workers, workgroups, personal board of directors, etc.) do you see yourself being inclusive? Now more than ever it is important that we reflect and consider this in our daily personal and professional lives.


In your examination, think of three big ideas:

Diversity: The characteristics that make us different from one another. This can include things like age, race, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Ensuring that your team is diverse yields the opportunity for a great environment, but doesn’t necessarily mean the team that you’ve built is inclusive.

Assimilation: An environment that encourages people to conform to the majority. A diverse workforce is a great start towards inclusion, but loses its full potential due to assimilation. When individuals are expected to leave their backgrounds at the door, we are doing the team a disservice. This is why inclusion is so important.


Inclusion: A culture that ensures people feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas. By promoting an inclusive team,[1,2] we can increase productivity, performance and team morale. Being inclusive is something we can all work on. It takes reflection and mindfulness. One way we can be more inclusive is by getting to know the people we work with on a more personal level.[3] This helps us to recognize what our fellow team members have to offer.[4]

As physicians, we are often at the helm of healthcare teams and committees — not to mention set the tone for how our department operates.  Inclusion incorporates multiple aspects of operation.  Inclusion is about making individuals feel engaged and valued, making sure to respect roles in the organization as well as individuals based on their beliefs, culture, race and religion.  In regards to team dynamics in healthcare, true inclusion is the penultimate goal for multi-disciplinary teams.  By focusing on inclusion, we can improve our team dynamics and healthcare delivery.

If you’d like to listen to a great discussion by the folks at EM Over Easy on this topic with guest Nicole Battaglioli, MD visit: (click HERE).




EM OVER EASY is a podcast by three EM physicians, Andy Little, Tanner Gronoowski and Drew Kalnow, with a focus on #MoreThanMedicine. The podcast can found
on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and more. For more about the content and hosts, visit and follow them on twitter @emovereasy.


Andrew Kalnow is an emergency medicine physician and associate program director at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital in Columbus, OH.  He is also a co-host for EM Over Easy, a podcast focusing on #MoreThanMedicine.

Andy Little, DO specializes in Emergency Medicine at AdventHealth East in Orlando Florida.

Patricia Capone, OMS is a third year medical student at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is also an editor/author for the EM Over Easy Blog.

Spencer Willette, OMS is a third year medical student at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is also an editor/author for the EM Over Easy Blog.

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