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What Medical Schools Don’t Teach You

  • Author(s): Yim, Rachel Kai-Xin
  • Advisor(s): Varma, Saiba SV
  • et al.
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Abstract

This project reveals how focusing on race in the formal medical school curriculum is inadequate because so much of medical school is informally thought outside of curriculum. These aspects of the hidden curriculum are not being addressed by proposed curricular changes through programs such as PRIME. Even when the medical curriculum does address race, it does so in ways that reinforce racist ideas (race as a biological determinant of health). The lack of understanding of how racism is embedded in existing institutional structures, the history of medicine and medical racism, are not at all addressed. Further, the microaggressions experienced by students of color both inside and outside the classroom require deeper cultural transformation. This project also calls for the need for antiracist and social justice work to be truly collective, to be the responsibility of each and every medical professional, rather than the burden of a few. Rather than a “choice” or “option,” all students and staff must learn how to integrate knowledge of racism and colonialism in their training. Currently, the structure--which emphasizes individual volunteers to take on this work--causes certain students who take on this work and who encounter difficulties and resistances to blame themselves, while white students (or students not in the PRIME program) are able to overlook structural violence and other health determinants.

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This item is under embargo until June 22, 2023.