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Racism and Health

Racism has been a stain on the soul of America for generations. It has permeated communities of color, adversely impacting the health of Black Americans and others across socioeconomic lines.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the country, the stark reality of racial health disparities was amplified as disadvantaged populations were hit the hardest.  

The leaders and people of America’s teaching hospitals and medical schools now have the challenge of working to mitigate, and ultimately eliminate, the factors that drive racial bias and help manage the social determinants of health — housing, food insecurity, access to transportation, and health care — for Black Americans and other communities of color.

The AAMC has curated a collection of articles and resources to assist our member institutions, constituents, and the public in learning more about and exploring the complex issues and strategies to combat racism and make health care more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This collection will be updated on a regular basis.

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AAMC Framework for Addressing and Eliminating Racism at the AAMC, in Academic Medicine, and Beyond

This framework serves as a strategic imperative; guides our own internal efforts at the AAMC; and helps amplify, support, and accelerate the efforts of our member institutions to catalyze change in academic medicine.

Racism and Health: A Reading List

The AAMC has developed a collection of select research articles and books that describe how racism affects health and well-being and offer a starting place for further exploration.

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AAMC Statement on Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

The AAMC issued this statement in response to the Administration's executive order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.

AAMC Press Conference: Racism and Health: How and Where to Make Changes

On June 12, 2020, the AAMC hosted a press conference on racism and public health.

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Podcast: Diagnosing Our National Disease

David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC president and CEO, talks with Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, about racism in academic medicine.

Community Engagement

Information and resources on community interaction and connections.

AAMC Guidance on Peaceful Protests by Medical Students and Residents

The AAMC has issued guidance supporting medical student and resident participation in demonstrations and other forms of peaceful public protest against police brutality and systemic racism.

AAMC Statement on Police Brutality and Racism in America and Their Impact on Health

The AAMC issued this statement on police brutality and racism in America and their impact on health.

Medical students use momentum of anti-racism movement to advocate for change

Students are demanding medical institutions combat racism, and their institutions are listening.

The new coronavirus affects us all. But some groups may suffer more.

The new coronavirus is worrisome for everyone. But for people who live with poverty, health inequities, and other woes, the outbreak could be especially brutal.

Why is my community suffering more from COVID-19?

Whether you survive COVID-19 should not depend on your race or ethnicity. Here's what needs to happen so all patients have the chance to live a healthy life.

Tackling health inequities in homes and schools

From reducing infant mortality to improving diabetes care, medical schools and teaching hospitals aim to improve community health through partnerships.

Putting a roof over patients’ heads

Chronic homelessness can have a devastating impact on patients’ health. Here’s how some teaching hospitals are helping rebuild housing — and lives.

Addressing racism and mistreatment in academic medicine

Leaders in academic medicine must confront racism and inequity to create a culture that exemplifies our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Community Engagement Toolkits

The AAMC developed toolkits to help institutions engage their academic and local communities to identify actions to move communities toward health equity.

Building a Systems Approach to Community Health and Health Equity

The AAMC is helping academic health centers achieve health and health care equity by building their capacity to create community health systems that weave together institutional community health initiatives and partnerships with local organizations.

Patient Care

Information and resources focused on the clinical care setting.

How we fail black patients in pain

Here’s how hidden biases fuel poor treatment of minorities.

Healing the healers

A disturbing number of students report being mistreated at some point during medical school.

Medical students need to learn about health disparities to combat future pandemics

COVID-19 has taken an outsized toll on communities of color. We must continue to educate our students on the health inequities that contributed.

The battle to end health inequities

All people must have the same chance for health, no matter their race or background, argued AAMC leaders and several other speakers at the Atlantic Festival.

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Competencies (QIPS)

These competencies present a roadmap for medical education curricular and professional development, performance assessment, and improvement of health care.

Workforce

Information and resources address inequities in the workplace.

Lawmakers Announce Anti-Racism Training Legislation for Health Professionals

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) announced plans to introduce the AAMC-supported COVID-19 Bias and Anti-Racism Training Act.

Medical schools need to do much more to protect students of color from racism

As an interviewee, I heard racist remarks. In courses, I saw Black patients omitted from lessons. Here’s what medical schools need to do to address these ills.

When the Target of Bias Is the Doctor

Physicians can be caught off-guard when confronted by the bigoted behavior of a patient. How should a physician respond when this happens?

Rooting out implicit bias in admissions

At one medical school, admissions committee members didn't even know they harbored hidden biases. But some simple training opened their eyes.

Unconscious Bias in Academic Medicine: Overcoming the Prejudices We Don’t Know We Have

Leaders at medical schools and teaching hospitals are examining how unconscious bias affects academic medicine and looking at ways to mitigate the impact.

Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Toolkit

This guide provides nine essential tasks to help navigate the diversity and inclusion strategic planning process. 

Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit Resources

These resources are meant to aid diverse academic medicine professionals in their career development.

Research

Research from the AAMC and other sources related to inequities in academic medicine. 

NIMHD Takes the Lead in Expanding the Science of Minority Health and Health Disparities

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities digs deep to expose roots of health disparities seen in minority groups.

Diversity Facts and Figures Series

This report provides students, medical educators and administrators, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public with detailed statistical information on diversity in academic medicine.

The State of Health Equity Research: Closing Knowledge Gaps to Address Inequities

The AAMC's State of Health Equity report presents results from a database of disparities-focused health services research.

Addressing Racial Disparities in Medical Education

The 2017-2018 AAMC Curriculum Inventory Report on Racial Disparities demonstrates the current reported coverage of racial disparities within the educational content of accredited U.S. medical schools.

Addressing Race and Racism in Medical Education

This collection of articles was curated to help readers engage in necessary conversations about race and to inform strategies to eliminate structural racism in their institutions.

Addressing Harmful Bias and Eliminating Discrimination in Health Professions Learning Environments

This collection features articles about addressing bias and discrimination in the health professions learning environment, among educators and learners, and in assessment and curricula.

New MedEdPORTAL® Collection of Anti-Racism Resources for Educators

This collection provides educators with practice-based, peer-reviewed resources to teach anti-racist knowledge and clinical skills, elevates the educational scholarship of anti-racist curricula, and aims to convene a community of collaborators.

AAMC Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE)

The AAMC Collaborative for Health Equity: Action, Research, and Generating Evidence (CHARGE) brings together investigators, clinicians, and community partners.

Additional Resources

Other resources from the AAMC. 

Academic Medicine Podcast: Addressing Race and Racism in Medical Education

In this podcast, guests discuss how race is portrayed in medical education and what individuals and institutions should do to address racism in the curriculum and learning environment.

Academic Medicine and Social Justice

Community healers and leaders must address issues related to inequality, social exclusion, racism, and bias that all too often are linked to societal violence.

Author David Ansell Exposes Inequality's Deadly Influence

In his new book, a physician shines light on cause and effect between income gap and premature death.