Professionalism: Microaggression In the Healthcare Setting

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2021 Apr 1;34(2):131-136

Purpose of review 

Microaggressions are daily commonplace, subtle behaviors and attitudes toward others that arise from conscious or unconscious bias. Not only can microaggressions affect one’s access to power, resources, and opportunity, but they could also contribute to the persistent disparities faced by marginalized groups among healthcare professionals as well as patients.

Recent findings 

Physicians, especially those in perioperative specialties, commonly have distress during their medical training. Workplace mistreatment, such as discrimination, has been commonly reported by residents across multiple specialties. Microaggressions also impact patient care as they can influence decisions of medical professionals toward a person or group of people.


This review offers education on the correlation of microaggression and unconscious bias to health disparities, provides tools to address microaggressions as a bystander, and outlines processes for institutional improvement.