2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Interdisciplinary

Recent Developments in Medicine Foster New Potential for Marginalizing Minorities
Christopher G. Dove
Dr. Linda Seidel, Faculty Mentor

Race and class permeate all facets of American life, but their presence in the world of medicine is particularly problematic due to the acute vulnerability of most entrants into the health care system. Historically, medicine provides a unique opportunity to uncover institutionalized racism and classism. The millions of practitioner-patient interactions that occur daily within the excessively complex bureaucracy of hospitals and research establishments often hide latent discrimination and oppression. In this paper, two broad topics in health care are investigated. First, the use of “diversity” training can often reinforce rather than break down discriminatory assumptions and group categorizations. Although overt racism has lost public sanction, racism today primarily manifests in a covert fashion, masked as “cultural competency.” Second, the use of racially-targeted drugs risks classifying racial distinctions as genetic differences. Last, solutions are proposed for health care workers and the public to end racial and classist inculcation.

Keywords: race, class, medicine, health, cultural competency

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 22-2
Location: VH 1408
Time: 10:00 am

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