Online Program

“White Coats For Black Lives” - Racial Violence as a Public Health Concern for Medical Students Nationwide

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nicolas E. Barcelo, SOM, MS4, University of California San Francisco Medical School, San Francisco, CA
Jennifer Tsai, BA, MS1, School of Medicine, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Providence, RI
In December 2014, 3000 medical students from more than 80 medical schools engaged in the largest organized medical student political action in decades. They gathered under the message #WhiteCoats4BlackLives to express commitment toward the idea that racial violence against communities of color is a public health issue.

In the time since public action, student leaders nationwide have preserved the network born via social media.To prioritize social justice initiatives in health and in medical school, they continue in coordinated action to bring racial violence to the forefront of medical and public health dialogue. In January 2015, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King and his objection to inequality in health, the National White Coats For Black Lives leadership released a vision statement which articulated the primary goal of creating a physician workforce engaged with the struggle for racial justice.

WC4BL advocates to create of standards of care for working with patients afflicted by racism and violence in their communities, generate comprehensive materials to continue dialogue regarding racism as a public health issue, gather data to assess quality and quantity of social justice discussions in medical education, and hold medical schools accountable to increasing the diversity of their student, resident, fellow, and faculty populations.

In this presentation, we hope to introduce the origins, process, and future goals of WC4BL as a grassroots medical student initiative committed to placing the public health concerns of racism at the forefront of their professional consciousness.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the origin and action of the White Coats For Black Lives (WC4BL) medical student organization.

Keyword(s): Activism, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical student and part of the national working group for White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.