Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




The COVID pandemic cast a harsh light on the structural and systemic health inequalities that exist in American society and in U.S. medical education. Black and Brown communities were disproportionately affected, and the pandemic highlighted the need for a diverse physician and healthcare workforce. Both the lack of equitable, high-quality healthcare in underrepresented communities and the obstacles that students who are underrepresented in medicine (URiM) experience in medical school are direct consequences of the structural racism that flourishes in U.S. medical schools and healthcare institutions. In this article, we explain structural racism and how it has manifested itself in medical education, including the lack of diversity among faculty and leadership, implicit biases and stereotypes about people of color, and discriminatory language used in evaluations of URiM students. We conclude with potential solutions for addressing structural racism in medical education. These include increasing diversity among faculty and leadership, implementing antiracist curricula, and providing mentorship and support for URiM students. Ultimately, we aim to promote discussion and action to eliminate structural racism in medical education in America.