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Medical Students Activate Over Race

Race is becoming a contentious topic in medical school with a number of students speaking out about what they perceive as bias based on race.

 White Coats for Black Lives has launched the Racial Justice Report Card, which grades medical schools and residential programs on “curriculum and climate, student and faculty diversity, policing, racial integration of clinical care sites, treatment of workers, and research protocols.”

In a June 2020 op-ed published by WBUR, Ayotomiwa Ojo, a student at Harvard Medical School wrote that racism is “not abstract.”  Ojo wrote “it is vital to educate everyone on a clinical team about the power of their implicit bias and micro-aggressions that demean their colleagues and offer disparate patient care. Medical education must equip trainees to interrogate health inequity with a critical race theory framework. Our non-Black colleagues must join in the fight for justice to relieve the disproportionate burden on Black physicians.”

Naomi Nkinsi, a medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told KHN in November 2020, she was offended when hearing at a lecture that Black people were more prone to disease. “It’s very personal. That’s my body, that’s my parents, that’s my siblings. Every time I go into a doctor’s office, now, I’ll be reminded that they’re not just considering me as a whole person but as somehow physically different than all other patients just because I have melanin in my skin.”

-Staff reports

(Photo courtesy:  Geoff Livingston as posted on  Flickr  )

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