MS-2: Racism in Medicine

August 31, 2022-October 19, 2022
6 sessions

Course Director
Alaina James, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Dermatology

Course Goal

In this course, learners will come to appreciate and understand the history and structure of systemic racism; its effects on healthcare delivery, the science of medicine, and medical education; and strategies to address racism and its effects.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the history of racism in medicine, in realms of research, clinical care, and education.
  2. Critically examine the impact of the use of race to signal important biologic differences in medicine
  3. Discuss racism and its impact on health outcomes
  4. Describe societal structures which limit access to healthcare for minoritized individuals
  5. Explore the impact of racism on access to medical education and the demographics of the physician workforce
  6. Utilize our skills as physicians to mitigate the effects of structural racism in medicine

Educational Methods

  • Short, large-group 30-minute introductory lectures
  • Small group facilitated debrief/discussion of the day’s topic
  • Reflective writing as the primary assessment tool


This course is Pass/Fail. Attendance is REQUIRED, and students can have no more than one unexcused absence. 

60% of the grade is determined by the brief weekly write-ups on given prompts. The remaining 40% will be based on a final written reflection. This will be a two-page written reflection on the student's experience during the course and how it will inform their practice of medicine.