• THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN RACE, CLINICAL RESEARCH, AND MEDICAL EDUCATION WITH EXAMPLES ON STRATEGIES AND POLICES TO UNDERSTAND, IDENTIFY, AND MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF RACE-BASED MEDICINE / RACISM IN MEDICAL INSTITUTIONS

      Strand, Nicolle K. (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Race-based medicine is the belief that people of different races have different biological characteristics that affect the diseases they are prone to, and the types of treatments and procedures that should be used. This belief is reflected in medical education, clinical practice, and research. Race-based medicine was born from slavery. Notions of biological difference between races were used to justify slavery, and the structural racism that was a product of the slavery era gave rise to race-based medicine. Despite the common belief that medicine is evidence-based and objective, science and medicine reflect society, and thus are also flawed and biased. Medicine and medical education cannot be separated from the views of the dominant culture. The belief of today dictates the lens through which physicians and researchers look at patients, procedures, and treatments. Despite more and more evidence that there is no biological basis to our social construction of race, race-based medicine is still being taught in medical schools. Medical vignettes and the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) display questions that encourage the normalcy of whiteness, reinforce stereotypes, and emphasize that diseases are race-specific. Race-based medicine is dangerous; not only is the concept unscientific and based in, the belief is also a source of trauma for minority students and residents. How does one cope with the daily assault of information that your race is a risk factor for many diseases, a justification for treating you differently, or that your fellow physicians are being trained to believe that the amount of melanin in your skin is enough information upon which to base assumptions? Instead of desperately searching for innate racial differences, society needs to change their focus to social determinants of health. We are chasing the rabbit hole of biological racial differences, but ignoring social determinants and structural racism, which distracts us from achieving health equity.