Pancioli brought in a consulting firm, The Gild Collective, which specializes in gender inclusion and women’s leadership training, to lead a workshop for all faculty on implicit bias. And he says the reaction has been very positively received.
“What was amazing was that some of the men came to me when they realized just how much implicit bias was part of their colloquialism and they were viscerally affected by this, and I know they’re now becoming part of the solution. This isn’t something you change in a day. You change it slowly and with intention,” he says.
Additionally, The Gild Collective presented a workshop for women faculty, residents and advanced practice providers called “Creating Solutions for Gender Issues.”
Pancioli and many of his faculty also have attended several conferences on the topic.
“You have to educate yourself as a leader,” Pancioli says. “Until you understand gender inequity you don’t realize how pervasive it is. But when you do, and when you expose it, then you can begin to extinguish it. Education is the cure to most social ill. You start with education because once a problem is really well understood, and it’s understood by everybody involved, you can embody the solution as opposed to being part of the problem.”
Pancioli believes that these efforts have aided in having the last two incoming 14-member emergency medicine residency classes being majority women. He also sees strengthened bonds within the department. And he believes that these efforts translate into improved care for their patients.
“Outcomes are better when you create a culture where team members know each other personally and care about each other,” he says. “If you feel cared for as a person and are part of a workforce that is a true team, you’re going to be happier in your workday. Our work is hard. We take care of the sickest of the sick, the poorest of the poor and some of the most challenging patients on the planet. And, believe it or not, not every patient treats our clinicians well. Our day can be an emotional assault. Teamwork, respect, a belief in each other and a generally happy work environment allows us to take care of those extraordinarily difficult situations with composure, compassion and empathy.”
Pancioli says he hopes what has worked so well in emergency medicine could work in other departments at the College of Medicine and in emergency medicine departments across the country.
“Emergency Medicine is a specialty that began here at the University of Cincinnati. The fact that ours was the first residency training program in the world is really cool. We are the cradle of our specialty. As such, this department always has been a national leader, and we constantly try to recruit the best of the best for talent. Half of our workforce in America are women and if we are smart and if we create an undeniably equitable culture in our department, we will continue to recruit the best talent.”
Pancioli adds “We already have the best emergency medicine training program. We truly get to train the best in emergency medicine. What an honor.”
When he received his award, Pancioli told the packed ballroom: “How is it possible that there's a social problem that we can name–gender inequity–that we can define, and in so many ways we can quantify, and yet it remains persistent and pervasive? It's a true social problem and, in my opinion, true social problems can be solved. The No. 1 tactic is education. And let me humbly tell you, it worked on me.”