Listen: Dismantling medical racism starts in the classroom

MEdical education is in the midst of a revolution. Students and educators, fueled by the same calls for justice that ignited the country’s racial reckoning in 2020, are demanding change from their institutions. They want their education ingrained in antiracism and hope that by acknowledging and teaching about bias and systemic discrimination in the medical field, the next generation of doctors will be better equipped to dismantle racism within health care.

Nurse Kiesha Garcia-Stubbs listens to speakers at Seattle City Hall, where thousands of health care workers gathered after marching to protest police brutality in June 2020. Jovelle Tamayo for STAT

For the third episode of “Color Code,” we take a look at the groundswell of antiracism work in medicine and medical education. We will also explore the backlash that these endeavors have received, which span from institutional repercussions to protests from hate groups.

In this episode, you will hear from Jerrel Catlett and Jennifer Dias, two medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who will share their experience developing antiracist training and curriculum for students. Michelle Morse, the chief medical officer of New York City’s Health Department, tells us of how her efforts to raise awareness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital were met with hateful messages and protests by neo-Nazis calling her work “anti-white.” We also speak with Aysha Khoury, a physician formerly at Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, who was dismissed following what she says was an antiracist discussion with students in the classroom.

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Thousands of health care workers marched from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Jovelle Tamayo for STAT

You can subscribe to “Color Code” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and elsewhere. New episodes will be released every other Monday.

A transcript of this episode is available here.

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To read more on some of the topics discussed in the episode:

  • An antiracist agenda for medicine. Boston Review
  • Addressing and undoing racism and bias in the medical school learning and work environment. Academic Medicine
  • One doctor shares her story of racism in medicine. forbes
  • Teaching antiracism to the next generation of doctors. Scientific American
  • After allegations of racism and sexism, some applicants remove Tulane from residency rankings. STAT

This podcast was made possible with support from the Commonwealth Fund.

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