Dr. Elizabeth Han
PGY-1 in Family Medicine at UBC. MD, MASc (Biomedical Engineering), BASc Engineering Science 

What inspired you to work with Equity in Medicine?

My area of expertise is accessibility and universal design for people living with disabilities. I hope to bring to EIM the voices of learners and graduates in medicine who have been discouraged from pursuing or continuing to pursue medicine because of their disabilities. Doctors with disabilities are well placed to provide empathetic, patient-centered care and should be given a chance to excel in their chosen discipline. My background in bioengineering, designing adaptive technologies for children with disabilities, and as an accessibility consultant at post-secondary institutions have imbued me with strong skills to advocate for this population. 

What is your hope for physicians with respect to EDI in the future?

Courage, bravery, hope, and patience. It will take time and a certain amount of risk, but both organizations and individual physicians can demonstrate the need for equity, diversity, and inclusion in medicine, and their creative responses to that need. 

Name a physician leader who inspires you and why?

Dr. Bruce Perry, an American psychiatrist, worked with Oprah Winfrey recently to write an excellent book on how the brain processes trauma and distress called "What Happened to You?" I believe it should be mandatory reading for all medical learners and attendings. If we understand how both patients and learners got to where they are, we can form an approach to maximize healing and maximize learning. Medical residency, for example, is the exact opposite of what Dr. Perry recommends for developing resilience, which is controlled, consistent, moderate stress. Of course, it's impossible to reform medical education overnight, but these ideas are important to keep in mind as we support a post-pandemic world grappling with brokenness and restoration. How do we form more resilient learners? Are we overlooking people because we believe, based on gender, race, disability, etc., that they lack resilience?