By Tammy McCausland
Dr. Malika Siker, a radiation oncologist with the Medical College of Wisconsin, spoke about ways to advance equity, diversity and inclusiveness in radiation oncology. She concluded her talk by discussing what steps individuals can take to effect change.
What We Can Do
Referencing Dr. Camara Jones, Dr. Siker said we can:
You can start with yourself: read, watch and listen. You also have to do some internal work: get uncomfortable and assess how you may have intentionally or unintentionally contributed to inequities today. Go beyond performative things like posting on Facebook, wearing a pin or putting a sign in the yard. The article, “Why racial justice matters in radiation oncology,” which Dr. Siker recommended that everyone read, lays out recommendations for individual radiation oncologists and radiation oncology departments and practices to combat anti-black racism. The article sets up a LEADS approach: learn, engage, advocate, defend and support. For individuals, educate yourself about implicit, structural and systemic racism and its effect on black patients and colleagues.
Is your department taking steps to be more inclusive?