FS: Racial and Ethnic Identity: Relevance in Teaching Clinical Skills and Diagnostic Medicine
Date & Time
Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

The significance of innate differences between races continue to fuel debate in medical education. Because learning is viewed as an affective, cognitive, and social process, those against racial categories argue that when medical school curricula train students to divide patients by racial categories, this cultivates stereotyping and racial microaggressions. The argument is made that biologic traits relevant to medical decision-making overlap across racial groups, rendering race uninformative in diagnosis and treatment. They further argue that presentation of race in a routinized way in the diagnostic medicine curriculum may lead to misdiagnoses through racial profiling in the clinic. Others argue that there is a place for racial categories in diagnostic medicine and clinical care if the focus is redirected from genetic to social and structural explanations. When the disease of interest is etiologically related to social affiliations and environments, then race can have positive implications for identifying differences in mechanisms of disease and clinical interventions. Racial considerations are also proposed as a means of sharpening diagnostic skills if cultural competency instruction is modified to address the history of racial categories, controversies about their biological significance, and limits of their utility.  In this session, participants will reflect and analyze how medical curricula can integrate racial identity as a clinical indicator in medical education. 

 By the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

  1. Review the literature related to the use of racial identity in medical education.
  2. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of integrating racial categories into the teaching of clinical skills and diagnostic medicine to learners
  3. Identify effective strategies for incorporating racial identity into medical education without misidentifying health care needs for racially vulnerable patients.  
Arkene Levy Jocelyn Mitchell-Williams Vijay Rajput