Multidisciplinary initiatives to tackle racial bias: Reflections from Uc San Diego, School of Medicine

By: Naeemah Munir, MPH; Kelechi Anudokem, MPH; Nadine Patton, MAS; Nicole Tantoco, MPH

1University of California, San Diego School of Medicine Program in Medical Education – Health Equity

Through this reflection of our experiences at University of California San Diego, School of Medicine (UCSD SoM), we will discuss the importance of underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students as a means to addressing racial bias within medicine. We will provide an overview of how a diverse student body impacts the experience of all students and how we can mitigate racial bias among our peers and educators. We will then reflect upon four pathways that UCSD SoM is increasing and supporting URiM students via pipeline programs, the admissions process, supportive and inclusive racial climate, and curriculum reform. Through these four disciplines we will highlight UCSD SoM’s past, present, and future.

Importance of URiM Students
While bias, both implicit and explicit, exists in medical education, there are ways to combat bias and further improve diversity in medicine. One of these methods is simply by increasing the actual diversity among medical students. Consistently, students report that contact with diverse peers greatly enhances their educational experiences. Such students strongly support strengthening or maintaining affirmative action policies in medical school admissions to further increase the number of URiMs in medicine.1
Unsurprisingly, perceptions of diversity are influenced by medical students’ own demographic characteristics. However, these perceptions are also affected by the demographic characteristics of their medical school. It has been found that the more diverse the medical school class, the more comfortable students are with diversity and the more they value its contribution to their medical education, regardless of students’ race and ethnicity.2….

 

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JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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About the Author: JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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