Can we educate out of racism

by | Oct 11, 2019 | Research Topics

Can we educate out of racism

Published: · 2 July 2012
Competing Interests: No relevant disclosures


A genuine engagement with Indigenous health issues challenges medical students and doctors alike. When participants in medical education analyse racism as a social determinant of health, the challenge deepens. The experience can range from disquieting to profoundly disturbing. For educators, the experience can be stressful, even daunting.

Analysing racism in medical education is not an optional extra, given that there is a nationally mandated objective of training doctors to work effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Doctors need a grounding in the health consequences of racism and an appreciation of the widespread, systemic discrimination that exists. This includes understanding how the resultant inequitable access to services, patient non-compliance, “taking own leave” from hospital and ineffective health promotion compromise Indigenous health outcomes.

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