Hiding in plain sight: How incorporating honest discussion of racial and social (in)justice into medical education can inspire change

Elsevier, Clinical Imaging, Volume 89, September 2022
Groner L.K., Lee M., Gil H.D.J., Min R.J., Babagbemi K.

The carnage wrought by systemic racism through social, judicial, and health injustices compels us to work towards a system that is fair and just for patients and colleagues. The evidence that change is necessary in medicine is hiding in plain sight in literature, oral histories, medical records, and news media. Notwithstanding this evidence, changing a system 400 years in the making will require a major paradigm shift. One of the many ways our department sought to catalyze such a shift was through media consumption, reflection, and discussion. Reading and studying literature and humanities in medicine can awaken our consciousness by making medicine an embodied practice that considers the totality of patients' lives in ways that a disembodied, purely scientific approach cannot. Thus, we started a Racial and Social Justice Book Club to normalize discussions about racial and social (in)justice and examine everything through an anti-racist lens. Herein, we describe our experiences in the inaugural year of the Book Club, a space to lend credence and dignity to the voices, experiences, and stories of folks who have long been marginalized by power structures in America, including medicine.