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Better understanding about language and dominant narratives can help ensure that we are indeed centering care around the lived experience of patients and communities without reinforcing labels, objectification, stigmatization and marginalization. 

Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts

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Increase your understanding of inclusive language, advance health equity, and build stronger relationships with your patients and community.

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Designed for physicians and other health care professionals, Advancing Health Equity: AMA-AAMC Guide on Language, Narrative, and Concepts provides guidance and promotes a deeper understanding of equity-focused, person-first language and why it matters. The AAMC Center for Health Justice and the American Medical Association (AMA) co-developed this comprehensive health equity communication guide to support physicians’ conversations with patients.  

Like science, language and understanding evolve over time, and this Guide is not intended to be a definitive and all-encompassing instruction manual. Instead, it was created to give a fresh perspective about the language we commonly use, and to recognize the harmful effects of dominant narratives in medicine.   

Prioritizing Equity : Narratives and Language

For the latest episode of Prioritizing Equity, an AMA video series, the panel focuses on the power of narratives and language in health care. The episode explores how dominant narratives perpetuate harm and offers examples of how these narratives can be challenged and disrupted, moving towards equity-focused and person-first alternatives.

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Words Matter — Especially When Talking about Racial and Health Justice in Medicine

In this AAMCNews Insight, Center for Health Justice Founding Director Philip M. Alberti, PhD highlights the impact of language on health equity and how the center is changing narratives with AMA.

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Our Words Matter. It’s Time to Get Them Right.

This Leadership Viewpoint from American Medical Association President Gerald E. Harmon, MD presents the new co-developed guide and how it can help physicians talk with their patients and communities.

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Try These 7 Equity-focused Language Options to Engage Patients

Narrative guide co-author, emergency physician, and AAMC senior director of equity and social accountability Malika Fair, MD, MPH shares how she uses inclusive language in her own practice.

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