Promoting a Bias-Free Curriculum
At the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the VP&S Guidelines for Promoting a Bias-Free Curriculum were developed with the input of many VP&S faculty and students and adopted by the Committee on Education Policy and Curriculum in June 2017. The guidelines are relevant to both classroom and clinical teaching environments and can apply to learners at all stages of training. We hope all educators will find this document useful for actively improving teaching.
In support of this initiative, a web-based bias-free curriculum feedback portal was added to our learning environment reporting portal, where members of the community can comment on aspects of the VP&S formal and informal curriculum regarding bias and inclusion. For instance, students can submit feedback if they observe a faculty member teaching in a way that they find to be particularly free of bias or inclusive. Similarly, students may choose to submit feedback if they find that an aspect of the curriculum was biased or not inclusive.
Representatives of the Task Force for a Bias-Free Curriculum, the Center for Education Research and Evaluation, and the medical education deans will review the feedback in order to identify and spread best practices. This feedback will also be used to identify concerning situations and/or systemic trends that should be addressed. The spirit of this endeavor is intended to be positive and constructive and not punitive. We wish to support one another in continuing to make VP&S an extraordinary place to learn and work.