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Building blocks with the words diversity, equality, diversity and equity on them.
Brennan Smith3 min read

The Importance of Inclusion and Diversity in Medical Communications

Inclusion and diversity aren’t just buzzwords - they are essential elements of effective and ethical healthcare communications, and it’s imperative that medical education managers take the time to invest in growing their understanding of DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) practices. Medical education managers play a crucial role in ensuring that these principles are integrated into, and considered within, their programs and products. Improving inclusion and diversity in healthcare communications can benefit patient care and provider decision-making, address healthcare disparities, and create socially responsible medical communications - let’s discuss how.

1. Enhancing Patient and HCP Communications

Through their products or programs, medical education managers often provide the knowledge and language that healthcare professionals (HCPs) share with their patients. Ensuring that these resources consider factors such as gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, race and ethnicity is key. Instilling an inclusive and diverse mindset to healthcare professionals should be a priority of all medical education managers. This must be done by ensuring that diverse voices are involved in the creation of communications materials, whether this be through stakeholder interviews or inclusive data collection.

Tip for Medical Education Managers: Provide HCPs with a list of resources that will help them better communicate with their patients upon completion of a product launch or when delivering a program - this could include translation services, education materials on cultural practices, or literature on DEI best practices.

2. Improving Decision-Making by Healthcare Providers

Diverse and inclusive perspectives can lead to better decision-making in healthcare. When healthcare providers are exposed to a range of experiences and viewpoints, they are better equipped to understand and address the needs of diverse patient populations. Medical education managers that emphasize inclusion and diversity will help healthcare providers develop the sensitivity and awareness needed to deliver more personalized and effective care.

Tip for Medical Education Managers: Involve a cultural competency component as part of your program or product training, to ensure that healthcare professionals have the language, understanding and knowledge they need to best treat patients who may be part of a marginalized community or are facing a unique healthcare challenge.

3. Addressing Healthcare Disparities

Inclusion and diversity are crucial for recognizing and addressing healthcare disparities, which disproportionately affect marginalized communities. Developing innovative medicines and products requires a lens of DEI to ensure all patients are represented - in not only the identification of a medical issue or problem, but also the proposed solution. By promoting diversity in medical communications, medical education managers can help raise awareness of these disparities and advocate for solutions and practices that promote health equity for all.

Tip for Medical Education Managers: Advocate for and support policies and procedures related to a product or program that you’re sharing, to better promote diversity, inclusion, and equitable care ahead of implementation. You can include DEI recommendations that will improve patient experience when sharing your product or program with healthcare professionals - such as policies related to patient accommodations or equitable access to healthcare services.

4. Creating Socially Responsible Medical Communications

Inclusion and diversity are also essential for creating socially responsible medical communications. By including diverse voices in communications materials, medical education managers can help challenge stereotypes and promote a more inclusive healthcare system. This can lead to better health outcomes for individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Tip for Medical Education Managers: When presenting or sharing information on a product or program, be sure to address any language or behaviours that don’t align with DEI values. For example, correct language that might be outdated or inappropriate or challenge incorrect assumptions about marginalized communities.

Inclusion and diversity are not only ethical imperatives in medical communications. They are crucial for improving patient care, decision-making, and healthcare equity. Together as an industry, we all must play a role in promoting DEI practices and creating an inclusive environment for all. The Association of American Medical Colleges has a list of DEI resources that are great for medical education managers and healthcare professionals alike. 

At CTC, we’re committed to prioritizing diversity and inclusion in our day-to-day practices, our relationships with clients, and our project work. We’re a socially responsible organization that values diversity, equal opportunity, and contribution to society. We know that our greatest strength, and we believe this comes from having a diversity of opinions, backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders. If you’d like to learn more about us, or you want to stay up to date on the latest in the medcomms industry, sign up for CTC’s newsletter. Just for doing so, we’ll plant 10 trees on your behalf as part of our environmental protection efforts.


Brennan Smith

Brennan leads the strategic direction of CTC and plays an active role in client engagement and project execution. With careful listening and application of years of expertise, Brennan helps shape practical medical communications solutions that meet the needs of our healthcare and pharmaceutical clients. Brennan also leads the team at CTC. His leadership stance is one of support, approachability, and transparency, and everyone is encouraged to have a voice. It is the people at CTC that bring the unmatched value our clients look forward to when working with CTC.