The Golden Rule

Sandra-Norby

By Sandra Norby, PT, DPT

I have started and rewritten this letter to you a dozen times.

My desire is to share my thoughts, elicit some nods and be transparent about my journey on diversity and inclusion.

You see, I grew up in LeMars, Iowa, a rural community of 10,000, in which I have no memory of any childhood classmate who was not white. (Pause) I am thankful that this experience has changed through the years.

I believe in the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I see this as partly due to what my parents taught me but also as a core value to my DNA. I embrace those who are different from me, even when they disagree with me. I don’t understand oppression, and I wonder and hope that I would have been marching alongside my brothers and sisters during our country’s history in the civil rights and other movements.

Diversity and inclusion are imperative to our patients’ well-being, as noted by Prime Inc.

According to the IOM (Institute of Medicine) report, increasing ethnic/racial diversity among health care professionals is important because diversity is associated with improved access to care for ethnic/racial minorities, greater patient choice and satisfaction, better patient–clinician communication, and improved educational experiences.1

The PT profession has to become, and in fact is becoming, more diverse in its membership as a whole. I feel it is up to each of us to engage with and encourage students of all races, ethnicities, sex, religious backgrounds, and gender identities (and the other areas that I have not listed) to explore the profession as an alternative to other careers such as medicine, dentistry, and law.

I, like you, will be reading each article in this issue, and more importantly, taking action to promoting our profession toward the necessary diversity we must have to reach all people in our communities.

1https://primeinc.org/casestudies/pa_np/study/389/Promoting_Cultural_Diversity_In_Health_Care_Settings