Date of Award
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
There is no denying the prevalence of racial inequity in medicine. For decades, various studies have shown us that racial and ethnic disparities exist, and many have made concerted efforts to promote health equity. However, we continue to see these disparities persist. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the emerging driver of this continued inequity is racism. The insidious nature of racism allows it to seamlessly manifest itself at all levels of healthcare, including medical education. However, medical education is where we may find the most success at mediating racism in healthcare due to our ability to mitigate the biases of students before they become practicing physicians. Within medical schools, racist attitudes can be seen in teaching materials, admissions statistics, and even within schools’ own cultures. These displays of racism work against our goals of creating racial equity in healthcare and have detrimental downstream effects as students begin treating patients on their own. These detrimental effects are what we are currently experiencing as we have refused to critically examine how our current systems play into inequitable treatment for people of color. Understanding health disparities and the ways in which they emerge from racist systems is vital to providing comprehensive care. Our medical structure, like the other structures in our society, was created to systematically uphold white supremacy. The discussion surrounding race in medical schools, as it is now, is not sufficient to overcome the prevalence of systemic racism and its impacts on the future physicians we are meant to be nurturing. There is no other option but to work towards providing more comprehensive and accurate portrayals of race in medical education as there are very-real world consequences for our failure to do so.
Khalid, Sana, "Addressing and Remedying Racism in Medical Education" (2021). PCOM Capstone Projects. 51.