Insights from the LeadBoston 2023 Class on Equity and Diversity in Healthcare

Marinna Carrera-Raleigh
Blog Post V2 (3)

On July 12, the LeadBoston 2023 class gathered at Mass General Hospital and Boston Medical Center to learn how problems of equity can show up in the healthcare system and why the representation of diversity in healthcare matters. Participants heard from esteemed speakers Dr. Sarimer Sanchez, Director of the Infectious Disease Bureau, and Dr. Thea James, Physician and Associate Professor at BMC and Boston University.  

Throughout the day’s discussions, group activities, and change of venues, the class compared and saw disparities in healthcare access between different populations in Boston. One participant was surprised seeing “the disparities between hospitals serving diverse populations in the city” while another shared that same sentiment, saying The qualitative and quantitative data in the prework about the patient population at BMC vs at MGH was really eye-opening to me.  

When thinking about how to tackle these inequities found in the healthcare system, participants believe there needs to be more transparent conversations and an increase in representation to enact change. One participant mentioned, “As Dr. James said, you need to have tough conversations that make people uncomfortable. In addition to having these conversations, another participant said that “it is important to have doctors and nurses that are representative of other races in the profession to ensure the comfort and trust of their patients and encourage kids of the same race to pursue these professions.”  

When reflecting on more active ways participants can action their workplace, various people said that they believe focusing on their company’s healthcare insurance is a good start. As the year continues, the class will reflect and examine how diversity, equity, and inclusion topics in the field of healthcare also overlap with the rest of the program year’s topics and think about developing their leadership commitments. 

Applications for the 2024 LeadBoston class are now open! Apply by October 16, 2023. Click here for more information.