College of Life Sciences

Addressing racial harassment on work placements

Cropped view of male and female medical studentsStudents who experience racism, racial harassment, or microaggressive behaviour whilst on clinical work placement can feel particularly isolated and unsupported. They can be unsure who to report issues to, worried about the consequences of reporting and unable to challenge behaviours. They may experience racism from medical supervisors, staff or patients.

Key actions

  1. We will set clear expectations of placement providers to tackle racial harassment, micro-aggressions and discriminatory behaviour and we will monitor and actively address any issues.
  2. We will provide guidance to medical students about what to do if patients are racist or abusive. This will include how to report an incident of racial harassment while on placement.


Areas of progress and projects that tackle racial harassment and race-specific challenges on work placements include:

  • Medical student testing surgical theatre headwearMeeting with UHL Trust Education and EDI Leads to discuss mentoring for ethnic minority students and particular challenges that some students from minority communities might face on clinical placements, e.g. finding the 'right' scrub hat when on surgical placement - students should never feel they can't go into theatre because there might not be a hair/head covering that works for them. Read more about this project in Ololade Tijani's blog

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