In recognition of Black History Month, the February issue of the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine contains three articles on race in medicine. They include an overview of an effort to recruit underrepresented minority students at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, a commentary on race and the history of medical education, and an editorial on the language of race and medicine in academic publishing.
An abstract/summary of each article is below.
Abstract: In the United States, the 37 colleges of osteopathic medicine and 154 schools of allopathic medicine face challenges in recruiting underrepresented minority (URM) applicants, and gaps in racial disparity appear to be widening.
In this Special Communication, the authors describe a URM recruitment and support strategy undertaken in 2015 through a special interest group called Creating Osteopathic Minority Physicians who Achieve Scholastic Success (COMPASS) at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine—New York.
Abstract: The institution of medicine was built on a foundation of racism and segregation, the consequences of which still permeate the experiences of Black physicians and patients. To predict the future direction of medical inclusivity, we must first understand the history of medicine as it pertains to race, diversity, and equity.
In this Commentary, we review material from publicly available books, articles, and media outlets in a variety of areas, including undergraduate medical education and professional medical societies, where we found an abundance of policies and practices that created a foundation of systemic racism in medical training that carried through the career paths of Black physicians.
The objective of this Commentary is to present the history of race in the medical education system and medical society membership, acknowledge the present state of both, and offer concrete solutions to increase diversity in our medical community.
This editorial provides an overview to recent updates to JOM’s guidelines and requirements around the language of race and ethnicity. They are adopted from the American Medical Association’s Manual of Style.
Among other changes, the new guidelines require authors to disclose who classified participants’ race/ethnicity, provide details on the categories or classifications used, and use an equitable approach to reporting data. Racial and ethnic classifications are now capitalized, and authors are urged to provide the reason for assessing race/ethnicity in their research.
The aim of the guidelines is to free medical research and the language around it from bias, the editorial notes.