How medical schools can remove racism from curriculum, per KHN

Faculty members and student activists across the U.S. are calling for medical schools to combat racism by changing their curriculum in three main ways, reports Kaiser Health News. 

Three ways medical schools can develop anti-racist curricululm: 

1. Eliminate the use of race as a diagnostic tool. For years, medical students have been taught that racial genetic differences affect health. However, the National Human Genome Research Institute has found very little genetic variation among races, noting there are actually more differences among each race.  

2. Recognize how systemic racism harms patients. About 80 percent of medical schools offer either a mandatory or elective course on health disparities, said David Acosta, MD, chief diversity and inclusion officer of the American Association of Medical Colleges. However, it's uncertain if or how many schools teach students to recognize and fight racism, Dr. Acosta continued. An anti-racist curriculum should examine how to mitigate or eliminate racism's harm, said Rachel Hardeman, PhD, a health policy professor at Minneapolis-based University of Minnesota.

3. Recognize racism in medical education's past and present. Activists want institutions to acknowledge their own missteps, as well as the racism that has accompanied past medical achievements. "There needs to be an admission of how you perpetuated anti-Black racism at this institution," said Betial Asmerom, a fourth-year medical student at the University of California-San Diego.

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