A Medical School Syllabus on Race

John Hoberman

in Black and Blue

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520248908
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780520951846 | DOI:
A Medical School Syllabus on Race

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  • Medical Anthropology


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The current orientation of the medical profession regarding racial issues continues to preserve some dysfunctional habits. First and foremost among these old habits is that of paying little attention to black people, including black physicians and their interests. Indeed, one of the striking features of the medical literature on race and medicine that has appeared over the past several decades is the lack of interest in soliciting and presenting the views of African American physicians whose knowledge of race relations is likely to differ from, and in certain ways exceed, that of most of their white colleagues. This chapter presents an alternative to the standard “cultural competence” program that combines ethical idealism with sensible advice about understanding and communication across racial barriers. It calls for a historically informed curriculum that offers its medical audience two kinds of information. First, medical students entering the profession can and should understand the value system and the social dynamics of the medical world they have entered. The second kind of information consists of practical advice on how physicians can avoid errors that many doctors have made over many years to the detriment of many black patients.

Keywords: medical students; African American physicians; medical training; medical literature; black physicians; medical curriculum; racel relations

Chapter.  15114 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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