Episode 6 | Using more Inclusive Language in the Clinic

July 24, 2020

In the Clinic with Camille

a podcast for integrative practitioners

Listen to the Episode:

Using Inclusive Languge in the Clinic

As a clinician, you're probably used to speaking or writing in a particular way. It's helpful to evaluate your language periodically to make sure yu're choosing words and phrases that create a welcoming and inclusive environment. While I know most of us have good intentions, we also have a lot of room for improvement (and I include myself here!).

Here are a few things to consider in your written language:

  • List your pronouns on your website, in your bio, and in other marketing/promotional materials
  • Leave blanks for clients to indicate sex and gender on your forms, rather than providing binary choices
  • Ask clients which pronouns they use on your intake form or at the beginning of your visit
  • In the "Family History" section of your intake forms, ask clients to list family members and relevant illnesses or conditions rather than specifying "mother" "father" etc.
  •  Use parent(s) or guardian(s) rather than mother/father; do not assume parents are married
  • Use partner/spouse rather than husband/wife; do not assume people have only one partner or spouse
  • Check your intake forms for questions about reproductive organs; ask the same questions to all clients. Put a "not applicable" box for people to check if relevant. 

Here are some considerations for spoken language:

  • "Died from suicide" rather than "committed suicide"
  • "Person with diabetes" rather than "diabetic" (same applies for other conditions: alcoholic, etc.)
  • "Older adults" rather than "elderly"
  • "Under-resourced" rather than "inner city"
  • "Neighborhood with high poverty rates" rather than "disadvantaged"
  • "They" rather than "he/she" if gender unknown
  • "Hey y'all" or "Hey folks" rather than "Hey guys" (or, à la the Sleep with Me podcast, “Ladies, gentlemen, and friends beyond the binary”)
  • "Bananas" or "wild" rather than "crazy" or "insane"
  • "Not cool" rather than "lame"
  • "The public" rather than "citizens" or "Americans" [situational]
  • "Different sex" rather than "opposite sex"
  • "Pregnant person" or "person who is nursing" rather than "pregnant mother" or "nursing mother”

Resources for Inclusive Language

Thoughts? Add your comments here. 

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may also enjoy: 

October 22, 2020

October 4, 2020

September 27, 2020

Camille Freeman, LDN

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and licensed nutritionist specializing in fertility and reproductive health. I mentor other practitioners who need help building and growing their practices, working with complicated clients and getting clinical hours. I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating. My pronouns are she/hers. 

Keep Learning with Me



How to Find Clients without  Social Media

Sign up below to access the training

You'll also be subscribed to my mailing list. Per my privacy policy, you can unsubscribe at any time.