The Significance of Race-Based Generalizations in Canadian Medical Education

  • Emma Woo UBC Medical School


Health outcomes between racial groups vary due to a range of genetic, cultural, and social factors. That said, when medical educators refer to race as a risk for disease, they often do not refer to any of these corresponding factors. As a result, medical education often promotes an essentialist view that both pathologizes race and discourages individualized care. This poses a risk to patient and society of reinforcing false understandings of race as a biologic entity. Canadian medical school students should be taught to think critically about race-based generalizations, making sure that they are transperantly delivered and context specific.