Christen Johnson, Ed.D., M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.F.P., is a 2023 graduate of the Ed.D program in Educational and Professional Practice at Antioch University.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Lesley Jackson, Ph.D., Chairperson
  • Tony Kashani, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Warren Jones, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., Committee Member


physician cultural responsibility, health equity, race in medicine, medical education, social categorization of medicine, healthcare diversity, microaggressions, physician identity

Document Type


Publication Date



Many forms of oppression create barriers for health care, further health disparities, and impact the wellness of physicians. As health disparities, caused by the social determinants of health, complicate the practice of medicine, physicians’ risk of burnout increases. The practice of Physician Cultural Responsibility provides a means to overcome health disparities and support physicians while embracing the intersectionality of the populations they serve. Incorporation of Physician Cultural Responsibility into physician professional identity is essential for the practice to be life-long. As there is no standardized curriculum to address teaching the practice of Physician Cultural Responsibility, this study aims to evaluate a proposed curriculum for the adoption of Physician Cultural Responsibility into students’ physician professional identity, student experience, and knowledge transfer. Through the transformative research paradigm and transformative learning theory, a mixed-methods study of deidentified qualitative and quantitative data was performed using MaxQDA and SPSS (a = 0.05) analytical software. Results suggest successful adoption of Physician Cultural Responsibility in physician identity development, successful knowledge transfer, as well as improvements in collaboration, belonging, and support in student experiences with within in first year medical students. This curriculum offers best practices for a methodology to address the inequities of practice in cultural competency education requirements within medical education. This includes inclusive and culturally responsive pedagogy aimed at supporting the students’ development of skills that improve the patient-physician connection with all patients, limit the impact of personal biases on medical practice, and dismantle the social categorization of medicine. The practice of Physician Cultural Responsibility and it’s adoption in physician professional identity yields an opportunity to create the culture change necessary within medicine to improve equitable patient-centered care for all patients, overcome health disparities, and support physicians through the challenges of medical practice. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


ORCID: 0000-0001-8752-0030