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Osteopathic medical students’ understanding of race-based medicine

By JOM Staff


Race is a social construct, not a biological or genetic construct, utilized to categorize people based on observable traits, behaviors, and geographic location. Findings from the Human Genome Project demonstrated that humans share 99.9% of their DNA; despite this evidence, race is frequently utilized as a risk factor for diagnosis and prescribing practices. Diagnosing and treating people based on race is known as race-based medicine. Race-based medicine perpetuates biases and diverts attention and resources from the social determinants of health that cause racial health inequities. Minimal research has examined medical students’ understanding of race-based medicine.