Keeping our Pledge to Health Equity and Anti-Racism

The Academy at Harvard Medical School

Medical Education Grand Rounds

with the HMS Office of Recruitment & Multicultural Affairs (ORMA)


Keeping our Pledge to Health Equity and   Anti-Racism

The first wave of reform to modern medical education occurred early in the 20th century following the Flexner report. The second wave arose in the latter half of the last century driven by problem based learning and community orientation. Recently, the Lancet Commission called for a third wave of reform to create transformative system-based medical education. This is an excellent aspiration...but is it possible? While progress has been made in explicit forms of racism in the medical profession, there remain deeply embedded structural dimensions of racism in our healthcare system. Acknowledging these features of the system and the implicit biases they perpetuate is essential if the profession's goals are equitable medical care and medical education.

In this special co-sponsored medical education grand rounds, the speakers will explore these issues from multiple perspectives with the intention of providing deeper understanding of the challenges the medical profession faces and the opportunities afforded leadership in medicine. The speakers will present historical analysis to consider the origins of structural racism in medicine. Sociologic and medical evidence will be reviewed to highlight ongoing challenges with implicit bias and equity. Finally, a systems framework will be used to show that diversity and inclusion is not just pertinent to social justice specifically, but to complex problem solving activities characteristic of the academic medical center more generally (research, education, patient care).


Monica Vela, MD, FACP
Director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois College of Medicine

James N. Woodruff, MD, FACP
Professor of Medicine
Dean of Students, Pritzker School of Medicine
The University of Chicago


Target Audience:

All HMS faculty, residents, and students are invited to attend and eligible to participate.






Event Date: 
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 8:00am to 9:30am