Over the past few years, there has been increasing attention and discourse focusing on social determinants of health, root causes of health inequities, and the role of structural racism in these inequities. In these conversations, how medicine considers and engages with the construct of race has surfaced as an area of controversy. Those in academic medicine have grappled with questions such as:
- What is the history of race in the health sciences, and how does that narrative operate in clinical practice, health research, and medical education today?
- How does inclusion of race in diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms reconcile with thinking about social determinants of health and how they produce and perpetuate health inequities?
- How does the current approach to considering race in medicine relate to and potentially contribute to ongoing societal narratives about racial differences and racial inequities?
- How does the conversation about the use of race in medicine relate to the growing attention to genetic ancestry and population-based variation in genetic polymorphisms?
We are hosting a four-session series of rich, cross-disciplinary events that carve out the much-needed dedicated space to discuss the origins of the use of racial categories in medicine, the controversies surrounding its current use and practice, and future directions for incorporating a race-conscious approach into clinical care, medical education, and research in the context of advancing health equity across all of the UC academic medical institutions.
We define a race-conscious approach as one that recognizes the reality of racial categorization in society and its implication for medicine and applies anti-racist principles to decisions about how and when to incorporate these categories into clinical decision making.
Session 1: Laying the Foundation: Historical and Current Perspectives on Race and Racism in Medicine and Implications for Health Equity March 24, 2021, 8:00-12:00 pm
Session 2: Case Studies: Race, Racial Categorization, and Racism in Medicine Today April 7, 2021, 8:30-11:30 am
Session 3: Continuing Case Studies: Race, Racial Categorization, and Racism in Medicine Today April 14, 2021, 8:00-11:30 am
Session 4: Moving Forward: Reflections on How to Use Race and Racial Categorization in Medical Education, Clinical Practice and Clinical and Translational Research April 2021