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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: General Information

This Libguide is about equality, diversity, and inclusion in healthcare.

EDI In Healthcare

Equity: Where everyone is treated according to their diverse needs in a way that enables all people to participate, perform, and engage to the same extent.

Health equity means ending institutional and discriminatory barriers that lead to health inequities and inequality. This includes factors within the healthcare system, such as racism and sexism, as well as factors outside the healthcare system, such as poverty and unequal distribution of resources.

See alsoHealth Equity vs Health Equality

Diversity is about the individual. It is about the variety of unique dimensions, qualities, and characteristics we all possess, and the mix that occurs in any group of people. Race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, economic status, physical abilities, life experiences, and other perspectives can make up individual diversity. Diversity is a fact, and inclusion is a choice

In the medical community, diversity often refers to the inclusion of healthcare professionals, trainees, educators, researchers, and patients of varied race, ethnicity, gender, disability, social class, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, primary spoken language, and geographic region. (Source)

A person should always receive good healthcare, regardless of personal characteristics, identities, or traits such as race or gender. Unfortunately, certain implicit biases exist in healthcare. These can have detrimental effects on the quality of healthcare a person receives. (Source)

See also: Bias vs. Discrimination, Types of Bias

Inclusion is creating a culture that embraces, respects, accepts, and values diversity. It is a mindful and equitable effort to meet individual needs so everyone feels valued, respected, and able to contribute to their fullest potential. Where diversity occurs naturally, creating the mix in the organization, inclusion is the choice that helps the mix work well together.

Inclusion means giving associates and patients from all backgrounds a voice in providing and receiving high-quality care. This act starts with encouraging a diverse healthcare staff to participate in the patient experience. (Source)

See Also: Health Disparities, Patient-Centered Care, Allyship in Medicine

CMCC eBooks


Open Access eJournals


Health Equity and Equality in Canada

Intersectionality in Healthcare

Cultural Competence and Healthcare

Tools and Toolkits