Attending To Race: Exploring How Faculty, Trainees And Medical Students Operationalize Race In Medicine
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Background. Race-based medicine assumes that genetic or biological differences account for the observed health differences among races. Race-based medicine has been shown to result in poor patient outcomes. Nevertheless, this practice continues due to a lack of clarity about the role of race in clinical medicine and research. This study aims to describe the use of race in medicine among physicians and medical students.Methods. This study employed a mixed methods design consisting of 1) a quantitative online survey, and 2) qualitative semi-structured interviews. The study population were medical students, residents, fellows and clinical faculty (M.D, D.O, Ph.D) from a large academic medical center in the southern U.S. A novel survey instrument was developed for this study, to cover the key domains we studied. Results. Of the 1,372 total survey responses, the final sample consisted of 1,016 completed responses (536 faculty, 267 trainees, and 213 students). 91.5% of students, 84.3% of trainees, and 83% of faculty believe the best measure of race is self-report. Students were less likely to use race as a proxy for these variables compared to faculty and trainees. Conclusions. In this exploratory study we found that there are significant differences between students, and faculty/trainees in the use of race in medicine.
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