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By: Scott Whitaker, President and CEO, AdvaMed
January 14, 2020

Serving Not Just Patients, But People: The Importance of Inclusion and Diversity in Health Care

researchers examine vials and microscope

Health care means something different to everyone. When a person enters a doctor’s office, they bring more than just a medical history: they bring a unique perspective on health care influenced by their culture, values, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic experience. It’s up to the doctor – and every medical professional playing assist – to understand their patient’s unique perspective, so they can customize treatment and assist knowledgeably and respectfully. It’s no easy task, but it’s a critical one.

The best way to accomplish this is to become as diverse as the patients we serve, and to ensure more unique perspectives are around the table. That’s why, with the support of AdvaMed’s entire membership, I signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge. It’s the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

In signing the pledge, I’m making four core commitments: to continue to make our medtech workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion; to implement and expand unconscious bias education across medtech; to share best – and unsuccessful – practices in diversity and inclusion with colleagues; and to create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with medtech leadership.

These new workstreams will help AdvaMed contribute to a more diverse, more inclusive health care system, and, in effect, a more patient-centered health care system. After all, the end goal isn’t only to enhance diversity; it’s to deliver better outcomes for all patients, not despite but because of their diverse backgrounds. Only then, can we reach health care’s full potential.