Commentary: Racism and Bias in Health Professions Education

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Abstract

The Research in Medical Education (RIME) Program Planning Committee is committed to advancing scholarship in and promoting dialogue about the critical issues of racism and bias in health professions education (HPE). From the call for studies focused on underrepresented learners and faculty in medicine to the invited 2016 RIME plenary address by Dr. Camara Jones, the committee strongly believes that dismantling racism is critical to the future of HPE.

The evidence is glaring: Dramatic racial and ethnic health disparities persist in the United States, people of color remain deeply underrepresented in medical school and academic health systems as faculty, learner experiences across the medical education continuum are fraught with bias, and current approaches to teaching perpetuate stereotypes and insufficiently challenge structural inequities. To achieve racial justice in HPE, academic medicine must commit to leveraging positions of influence and contributing from these positions. In this Commentary, the authors consider three roles (educator, faculty developer, and researcher) represented by the community of scholars and pose potential research questions as well as suggestions for advancing educational research relevant to eliminating racism and bias in HPE.

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