Research in focus: Anamaria Richardson
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24 May, 2022
Community-based Pediatrician; Clinical Assistant Professor
Year I started working at UBC:
Provide an overview of your research in 75 words or less:
As a community based clinician and researcher, all of my work is in response to patient and parent identified systemic barriers in access to health equity. This includes work with populations that are traditionally excluded from access to supports based on issues such as medical and behavioural complexity, experienced racism, rurality, language barriers, poverty. I have accidentally landed in research to support patients and families, as my response to improve health equity.
What first motivated you (or motivates you) to conduct your research?
Seeing patients and families in my clinic encounter barrier after barrier in accessing services they need through unresponsive systems (health, education and social services) moved me into research - because of this I call myself an accidental researcher. I witness the inequitable impact of these barriers have in both physical and mental health for patients and their families, and how intersectionality compounds inequity. Health should not be made inaccessible by systems.
What do you hope will change as a result of this research?
Through research I hope to increase visibility of the impact of these systemic barriers to the public, to other practitioners, and to policy makers; the ultimate goal is to move to a system that is not applied uniformly but is responsive to individual needs. Some patients need additional or different supports. As clinicians we also need to acknowledge our own inherent racism and colonial practices and I hope to explore settler clinician responsibilities.
Are there any research collaborators you'd like to acknowledge and why?
As Clinical Faculty doing true community based research, I have been grateful to numerous mentors as I walk an untraditional path with limited supportive infrastructure - my research has been self directed. Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies has allowed a supported year of opportunity to further research and to make academic connections, individuals are many (Drs. Andreotti, Lewis, Siden, Kobor, FSI) as they have encouraging and offered direction and guidance to potential opportunities.
What have you learned during your research that has surprised you the most?
The biggest surprise I have had is that it is possible to do research in the community and to the number of doors that open when you knock. Through the past 5 years, communities of practice have welcomed me through collaboration, invitation, guidance. What started with one focus group in my practice to hear from families, has evolved into many novel projects - but it is hard to balance clinical work and research.
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