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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.

    Achieving health justice means digging up the common roots of injustices — including racism, classism, and misogyny — and making sure federal, state, and local policies are oriented toward equity. The AAMC is committed to this effort.

    Boy with father, on playground swing
    woman holding sign

    David J. Skorton, MD, looks back at some of the conversations from this past season on “Beyond the White Coat.”

    • January 14, 2021
    Elderly woman is comforted by a medical professional

    In this episode, we explore how academic medicine can move toward more equitable care for all.

    • December 17, 2020
    Max Tiako looking in on a microscope.

    Max Jordan Nguemeni Tiako, a fourth-year medical student at the Yale School of Medicine, shares his perspective on racism in medical education.

    • November 12, 2020

    The AAMC issued a statement in response to the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.

    • April 21, 2021
    people in class

    The AAMC released a statement in the wake of recent allegations of racism in academic medicine.

    • February 23, 2021
    Abraham Flexner Award

    An award named after Abraham Flexner gets a name change in light of Flexner’s racist and sexist ideas.

    • November 17, 2020
    Two women looking at a tablet

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

    • September 24, 2020

    Community Engagement

    Information and resources on community interaction and connections.

    Health Equity in Academic Medicine: Recommendations From an AAMC Community Roundtable in Washington, D.C.

    This report details participants’ descriptions of several promising practices, critical challenges, and points for future collaboration.

    • December 2, 2021
    Taison Bell, MD, gets one of the first Pfizer coronavirus vaccinations at UVA Health on Dec. 15.

    The science behind the COVID-19 vaccines is sound, but institutions must address skepticism among communities scarred by histories of medical duplicity.

    • December 23, 2020
    Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, president and dean of Morehead School of Medicine, and medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD, celebrate their COVID-19 inoculations with Elmo, who has been deployed to help answer children’s questions about the vaccines.

    Academic medical centers turn to community partners, trusted minority leaders, and media platforms to explain the science to hesitant racial and ethnic groups.

    • January 21, 2021
    Lonnie Bunch in Beyond the White Coat podcast

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

    • September 17, 2020

    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.

    A female doctor standing with arms crossed

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

    • June 1, 2020
    Ian Simpson-Shelton, MD, speaks at the University of California San Diego Anti-Racism Coalition Day of Action on June 8, 2020

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

    • July 23, 2020
    Residents receive food from the National Guard near a containment area set up to halt the spread of COVID-19 in New Rochelle, New York.

    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.

    • March 16, 2020
    The author and her sister Denise Fair, MPH, MBA, chief public health officer at the Detroit Health Department, attend services at their church, which has been hit hard by 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.

    • May 20, 2020

    Medical schools and teaching hospitals aim to improve community health through partnerships with local organizations.

    • June 18, 2019
    Women, Boy holding model house

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

    • October 22, 2019
    Stethoscope in pocket

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

    • February 22, 2019

    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.

    A doctor speaks to an older woman in a mask

    It’s easy to see why Black communities often distrust vaccination. But the pandemic’s toll means we have to increase faith in it — and fast.

    • October 13, 2020
    Ibram X. Kendi, PhD, director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, and Nikole Hannah-Jones, investigative journalist, speak at Learn Serve Lead 2020 on November 16.

    Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi, renowned voices in antiracism, call for institutional antiracism.

    • November 17, 2020
    Human kidney cross section

    Medical students take the lead in calling for reexamination of assumptions about race used in common diagnostic formulas.

    • September 24, 2020
    Three individuals

    An expert looks at how false notions and hidden biases fuel inadequate treatment of minorities’ pain.

    • January 7, 2020

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

    • September 10, 2018
    Selwyn Vickers, MD, senior vice president of medicine and dean of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, talks with students before the pandemic

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

    • April 30, 2020
    Bill Sternberg interviews David J. Skorton, MD, and Philip Alberti, PhD, at the Atlantic Festival 2019.

    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.

    • September 27, 2019
    Doctor with a patient, doctor washing hands, and doctor throwing a used syringe away.

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


    Information and resources address inequities in the workplace.

    A Black physician in a mask talks to a patient in a mask

    Black men face many obstacles in their path to medicine. At the AAMC’s annual meeting, three who succeeded shared their stories and ideas on how to help others.

    • November 23, 2020
    woman doctor

    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.

    • July 17, 2020
    Christle Nwora, MD, dons personal protective equipment for her residency at Johns Hopkins Medicine

    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.

    • July 14, 2020

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

    • May 9, 2017

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

    • February 5, 2019

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

    • September 27, 2016
    A woman explains a timeline to her colleagues.

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

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


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


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

    • December 4, 2017
    Four doctors in white coats having a discussion in a hospital hallway

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

    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.

    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.

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

    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.

    Additional Resources

    Other resources from the AAMC. 

    A Black woman doctor facing forward

    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.

    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.

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

    • September 27, 2016

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

    • November 6, 2017