Reflect and Reset: Black Academic Voices Call the Graduate Medical Education Community to Action

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges




The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the great achievements that the biomedical community can accomplish, but raised the question: Can the same medical community that developed a complex vaccine in less than a year during a pandemic, help to defeat social injustice and ameliorate the epidemic of health inequity? In this perspective, the authors, a group of Black academics, call on the graduate medical education (GME) community to reset its trajectory toward solutions for achieving diversity, improving inclusion, and combating racism using education as the new vector. Sponsoring institutions, which include universities, academic medical centers, teaching hospitals, and teaching health centers, are the center of the creation and dissemination of scholarship. They are often the main sources of care for many historically marginalized communities. The GME learning environment must provide the next generation of medical professionals with an understanding of how racism continues to have a destructive influence on health care professionals and their patients. Residents have the practical experience of longitudinal patient care, and a significant portion of an individual's professional identity is formed during GME; therefore, this is a key time to address explicit stereotyping and to identify implicit bias at the individual level. The authors propose three main reset strategies for GME-incorporating inclusive pedagogy and structural competency into education, building a diverse and inclusive learning environment, and activating community investment-as well as tactics that sponsoring institutions can adapt to address racism at the individual learner, medical education program, and institutional levels. Sustained, comprehensive, and systematic implementation of multiple tactics could make a significant impact. It is an academic and moral imperative for the medical community to contribute to the design and implementation of solutions that directly address racism, shifting how resident physicians are educated and modelling just and inclusive behaviors for the next generation of medical leaders.


Emergency Medicine