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Gasping for Air and Grasping Air in Medicine: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion on the Medical Frontlines


Title: Gasping for Air and Grasping Air in Medicine
Subtitle: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion on the Medical Frontlines
Subject Classification: Medicine and Medical Ethics, Psychology, Equality Diversity Inclusion, Healthcare
BIC Classification: MBDC, MMH, JM
BISAC Classification: MED050000, MED105000, PSY000000
Hardback, Paperback, ebook, pp.508
Publication date: 
14th August 2023
ISBN (Hardback): 
ISBN (Paperback):
ISBN (ebook): 


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This book examines the role and the opportunity for EDI advancement as a requisite in medicine and healthcare, particularly in the context of the professional landscape as this directly affects care delivery.  It argues that physicians lacking the awareness and skills necessary to engage in an EDI-informed manner with members of their professional setting and patients cannot effectively deliver care. It also argues that physicians and other clinicians benignly unaware of their privilege cannot effectively deliver care. The book takes a multifaceted approach to EDI in medicine including the exploration of the physician experience of being othered within the profession. The goal is to engage readers in a more inclusive practice.


Editors: Dr. Abdurrahman is a psychiatrist at Unity Health Toronto- St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto, Canada, and a clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Hategan is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. Dr. Giroux is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, U.S.A.



"This is an important and hard-hitting book that pulls no punches. If you have to choose to read any one book on racism, prejudice, discrimination and abuse directed towards people because of their colour, culture, gender, sexual orientation, appearance or size, then this is the book. Edited and compiled by three psychiatrists who have extensive lived and clinical experience, they write with passion, clarity and justice.

The authors describe the historic and structural basis for racism and other forms of discrimination and mistreatment within medical education and the practice of medicine. The book is brilliantly structured, containing descriptions of the historical, social, and political background to racism. But it does not stop there. The authors use vignettes to deepen understanding of the experience of racism and other forms of prejudice and to help us identify with the narrators and to experience the associated emotional impact. Most importantly, the authors provide a list of key points after each chapter and recommendations for effective change strategies. I learned many things from this book that I had never known and many of my preconceptions, assumptions, and implicit biases were uncovered. The authors describe in broad strokes and detailed analysis the origins and perpetuating factors for the existence of exclusion and discrimination. Their account is beautifully illustrated by vignettes which illustrate the experience of patients and physicians."

- Alan Eppel MB, MRCPsych, FRCPC, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario


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