Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education

Like all American institutions, medicine has been shaped by a legacy of racial injustice. Racism permeates clinical practice and biomedical research, public health policy, and academic advancement. Its influence on medical education is even more profound. It is through medical education that racism and bias in medicine are perpetuated across generations. In recent years medical schools have begun to tackle this deeply-ingrained reality. Most efforts, however, focus largely on curriculum, recruitment strategies, and unconscious bias training, actions that fall short of addressing systemic racism. Dismantling racism in medical school settings requires a strategy that is broadly transformative, ongoing, people-dependent, and responsive to the world around us.

The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation has funded a three-year Anti-Racist Transformation (ART) in Medical Education project to replicate Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai’s (ISMMS) change-management strategy at eight to 10 partner medical schools in the United States and Canada.

The aims of the project are to:

  1. Develop the capacity of medical schools to dismantle systemic racism and bias in their work and learning environments.
  2. Promote shared learning on how to dismantle racism within and across medical schools.

Through an interactive virtual learning platform, participating medical schools will establish and maintain their capacity for transformational change, while building a community of practice within and across participating schools. Students, staff, and faculty will engage in experiential learning, assessments, outcome and performance monitoring sessions, and coaching, allowing them to move beyond knowledge transfer to change that is systemic and adaptive.