The role of programming in combating Racial Bias

By: Adib Rushdan

National Community Service Committee Co-Chair

The narrative is often politically influenced, driven by an exhibition of activism that may incite the defense mechanism on one end versus the other. Protests, whether via social media or live demonstrations, are necessary to pinpoint issues surrounding racial bias and the impact that stems from its practice in different areas, such as medicine. The effects and negative impacts of racial bias in the United States can easily be reflected via the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on African American health which indicates that African Americans have higher rates of unemployment, lower socioeconomic status, lower home-ownership rates, and increased percentages of obesity1. It is important to highlight that many of the social items mentioned have a correlation with elements of institutionalized racism that has historically been documented via discriminatory practices in housing along with economic disenfranchisement.
These are symptoms of a greater story that have long persisted in our country and can be highlighted through the lens of medical education. Historically speaking, for African Americans and other people of color, obtaining a medical education was not always accepted at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). For example, Howard University and Meharry Medical College were the major medical training institutions from the 1870s through the 1960s, which marks the period when integration was legalized. Both of these historically Black colleges continue to be the largest producers of minority physicians in the United States2…..

 

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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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