Why we talk about diversity

By Theresa Pablos, DrBicuspid.com editor in chief

March 15, 2023 -- DrBicuspid sat down with Dr. Monica "mOe" Anderson at the Chicago Dental Society 2023 Midwinter Meeting to discuss the importance of an ongoing discourse on diversity and why pursuing multiple passions helps you be a better dental practitioner.

Anderson also shared a bit about her well-received TEDxOshkosh talk titled "What Dentistry Teaches Us About Curbing Racism."

See more insights in the video below.

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Last Updated ka 3/15/2023 7:34:16 AM

3 comments so far ...
3/16/2023 6:01:32 AM
Fixation on "diversity" disgusts me, as it should every other fair-minded person.
I am white. My endocrinologist is a black female. Makes no difference to me. Competence is the only thing that matters.
I speak Spanish and treat tons of Latin American immigrants. Do they suffer because they are not being treated by a Latino dentist? Not at all!
All these inclusion and diversity stuff is just thinly disguised racism. Its proponents are every bit as racist as Klansmen. We should not tolerate it in our profession.

3/18/2023 7:24:03 AM
In DEI discussions, I distinguish between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
I don't have quite the reaction that you do to Diversity. But I get what you said. 

When discussions get to percentages of the population-at-large versus the percentages found in whatever niche someone is looking into, they can ALWAYS find discrepancies.

I think the fallacy is whenever someone implies that the discrepancies in percentages they found are de facto signs of a problem. That gets compounded when a solution is demanded. I call that "treating the numbers". But numbers that don't align with what is politically correct don't define a real problem. The real problem surfaces when someone insists that people only want to interact with people who look like themselves. Whether it is referring to school classrooms or health care settings, that claim is racist. There is no definitive evidence that best practices involve students and patients be taught  and treated by those that look like themselves. Taken to the extreme, it calls for total segregation. The fallacy there is that the professed goal of DEI is total acceptance of all peoples by all peoples...elimination of prejudices, discriminations, and biases. 
So, which is the goal? Everyone interacts only with those that look and sound like themselves? Or everyone is accepting and tolerant of our differences?
I suppose the realistic goal is that people have options available to them. I think that's the road Diversity and Inclusion are intended to be on.

3/20/2023 10:47:00 AM
Thank you for your comments. Both my TEDx talk and this interview applaud dentists for their leadership and demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion. Our willingness to be open to other viewpoints and experiences without being dismissive is how we will continue to improve in this area to the great benefit of our profession.