January 2023 What I’m Thinking About

Honouring the Multitudes: Removing Racism from Medical Education

Saleem Razack

Professor of Pediatrics and Investigator,
Department of Pediatrics and BC Children’s Research Institute,
Member of the Centre for Health Education Scholarship,
Pediatric Critical Care Physician,
University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital

Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Hybrid: Life Sciences Centre 1312 CMR & Zoom*

Zoom Details: For connection details, please email ches.communications@ubc.ca.


Medical Education is based upon knowledge systems imbued with structural racism and discrimination, which pervade all of aspects learning from the classroom to the bedside. Many have been brought to harm by racist and discriminatory medical practices. To change such practices will require a critical examination of formal, informal and hidden curricula within medical education.

The presenter recently co-authored an invited commentary on the discriminatory knowledge systems of medical education: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)02454-0/fulltext.

In writing the article, many more questions were raised than answers given. These questions will be the subject of this session. The author hopes to engage the audience in a discussion of the structurally racist and discriminatory systems of medical education, including the deep and uneasy relationship between medical education and eugenics. Secondly, the presenter would like to engage the audience in a critical examination of social constructs of professionalism in medicine and how these might be made more explicitly anti-racist and anti-oppressive. Throughout the discussion, participants will be encouraged to move seamlessly through theory and praxis, in a conscious effort to break that false binary, imagining what anti-racist medical education might look like. We may discuss topics which are difficult to talk about, and with which some audience members may have a direct experience which may be triggering. The presenter pledges to facilitate a safe and brave space for discussion.


Saleem Razack joined faculty at UBC/BC Children’s Hospital on January 1, 2023, after a 25-year career as a pediatric intensivist and medical educator/education researcher at McGill University. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto. His research Interests in Medical Education include the intersection of assessment and professionalism with representation, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, for which he has had SSHRC and CIHR support. He is the recipient of the AFMC May Cohen award for outstanding contributions to equity in medical education, the Haile T. Debas award for contributions to equity in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill, and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada award for outstanding contribution to Medical Education. He is excited to start anew at UBC and hopes to serve in, and contribute to, the vibrant scholarly community in health professions education at UBC.