Report on racial discrimination in healthcare education to be launched in Trinity

The findings of the report are hoped to inform strategies to improve racial equality in the Faculty of Health Sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Group will launch a report tomorrow on the experiences of healthcare students from racial and ethnic minorities in Trinity.

The findings of the Stand Up, Speak Out! Racial Justice in Healthcare Education project, a collaboration with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, are intended to inform strategy, policy, education and research in improving racial equality in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The launch will feature a presentation of the findings of the report by project members, followed by a panel discussion on the report.

The report is based on the experiences of healthcare students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, collected at a virtual conference held in May.

The experiences of these students have been collated, summarised and analysed by the project team to form the report that will be presented tomorrow.

The project was prompted by reports of racism directed at healthcare students of racial and ethnic minorities, including incidents of microaggressions, bullying and physical assaults, allegedly perpetrated by patients, colleagues and teaching or clinical staff.

Project organiser Aaron Koay told Trinity News: “It is evident that minoritised ethnic healthcare students experience racism across college and clinical settings, with perpetrators including patients, academic and clinical staff, and peers.”

Koay, an MSc student in Trinity, continued: “The ways in which students can report incidents of racism can also be ambiguous, especially when incidents occur on clinical placements – it can be unclear which parties (Trinity, clinical site or both) are responsible to manage those incidents. This can lead to students choosing not to seek justice.”

“Issues of racism, when perpetuated by patients, can also be complex when students have to negotiate between their own safety and duty of care. Overall, racism experienced by minoritised ethnic healthcare students has not received adequate policy or research attention in Ireland,” Koay added.

“In this project, we aim to centre and leverage the lived experiences of minoritised ethnic healthcare students at Trinity to hopefully influence strategy, policy, education and research directions.”

The project has been funded by Trinity Equality Fund 2022 from the Trinity Equality Office.

College has made conscious efforts towards equality and inclusivity in recent years, including the establishment of a Racial and Ethnic Equality Working Group last year and the Inclusive Curriculum (Trinity-INC) Project launched in October 2020.

Last week, Trinity-INC announced the first ever Inclusive Trinity Festival, an 11-day lineup of events showcasing initiatives and activities promoting inclusivity in College.

The Stand Up, Speak Out! Racial Justice in Healthcare Education report launch will take place in the Global Room at 5pm, as well as on Zoom.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is the current Social Media and Managing Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as News Editor, Assistant News Editor and copyeditor.