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    “Medical Students Challenge the ‘Things We Do for No Reason,’” by Anthony DePalma

    Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine  
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives 

    This article explores the outdated practice of using a patient’s race to help calculate biological function and potential preexisting conditions. With the support of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine faculty members, medical students coauthored a paper advocating for the removal of race adjustment calculators. 
    What was the most impactful part of your entry? 
    This story amplifies the voices of medical students who are not afraid to challenge the status quo. It also conveys that VCU School of Medicine faculty encourage and empower students to stand up for what they believe is right. 
    What challenge did you overcome? 
    One challenge in compiling this story was striking a balance between the science (e.g., what race adjustments are and how they’ve been used in clinical settings) and the human-interest component (e.g., why these students want to eliminate them). This involved asking a lot of clarifying questions and conducting research to ensure full understanding of a previously unfamiliar subject. 
    Contact: Laura Ingles