Plenary: Race in Robbins: Data or Distraction?
Date & Time
Friday, June 18, 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

In American medical schools, focus has sharpened on disparities in medicine, particularly since the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in the early months of the COVID pandemic. Medical students are increasingly demanding that inequities be addressed, not only at the point of physician-patient contact, but also within the biomedical sciences. Medical textbooks, lectures and other teaching materials are replete with race-based “facts”, particularly regarding incidence and outcomes, without providing context for this information, thereby perpetuating stereotypes and encouraging hazardous heuristics. As pathology educators, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to teach students about disease beyond basic pathophysiology, genetic mechanisms and biochemistry as a step towards dismantling individual, institutional and systemic racism in healthcare. Given longstanding and stubborn obstacles to facilitating this conversation, including faculty and student discomfort and individual and institutional resistance to change, strategies for framing health disparities and providing support for faculty and students will be offered.