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Electives - Humanities and Ethics in Medicine

Black Physicians: History and Health Disparities

Elective Number: 3528 (arranged)

Course Supervisor: Dr. Preston Reynolds

Duration: 2 weeks

Available:

Report to: Dr. Reynolds

Time to Report: 9:00 am

Place to Report: Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, Barringer 5, room 5364

Typical day: reading during day, seminar discussion Mon., Wed, Thurs - 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Attendance: Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.

  • Anyone who is ill or has a personal or family emergency must contact Student Affairs and the Attending on Service.
  • Students are allowed to take off up to 1 day per week to interview between November 1 and February 1.
    • Specific days missed must be approved by the Attending on Service.

Number of students per rotation: 10 (by special arrangement if less than 3)

Course Description: Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the social condtions that shaped medical practive for black physicians in the North and South between 1890 - 1960
  2. Discuss the significance and role of black hospitals in providing care to black patients and training opportunities for black physicians and nurses
  3. List the barriers to medical training that minority students, residents, fellows and practicing clinicians faced by minority physicians until the early 1970s
  4. Describe the role of the NAACP, NMA and Medicare in reversing discrimination against minorities in terms of hospital care, hospital privileges for minority physicians and training opportunities for physicians, nurses and other health professionals
  5. Discuss efforts to eliminate health disparities in the United States and the leadership role played by minority and non-minority physicians

This course will explore the history of African American physicians in the United States with a focus on the effort to reverse discrimination in healthcare in the twentieth century and reduce health disparities. Topics to be discussed will include the social conditions that shaped medical and surgical practice for most black physicians, the importance of black hospitals and Howard and Meharry medical schools in training black physicians as students and residents prior to the 1960s, the role of the NAACP, National Medical Association and federal government in eliminating overt discrimination against black physicians, patients, and other health professionals and national efforts to eliminate health disparities. Students will be expected to complete all assigned readings for class discussion, prepare a summary description of a national program designed to reduce health disparities and prepare a 5-10 page review of one book on a black physician or another aspect of the history of African Americans in medicine of particular interest to the student.

Readings: A copy of all readings will be held on reserve in the Claude Moore Health Science Library and a reading list will be provided by the couse Supervisor.

Week one will cover the history of black physicians in twentieth century America: their training, clinical practice, professional associations and efforts to eliminate race discrimination in medicine. Students will get hands-on experience searching databases in medical history and national programs on health disparities.

Day 1: Class discussion will focus on the training of black physicians, the impact of the 1910 Flexner Report on black medical school and the importance of Howard Univeristy Medical School and Meharry College of Medicine in training black physicians as students and residents.

Day 2: Class discussion will focus on the social conditions that shaped medical practice for black physicians in the United States.

Day 3: Class discussion will focus on the importance of the black hospital in providing opportunities for black physicians to practice medicine and to train as residents and fellows prior to the racial integration of medical education in the 1960s.

Day 4: Class discussion will focus on efforts to eliminate overt discrimination against minority patients, physicians and other health professionals by the NAACP, National Medical Association and the federal government under the Medicare Hospital Certification Program.

Day 5: Students will spend the day in the history of medicine reading room learning how to access on-line and print resources for use in researching the history of African Americans in the health professions and national programs designed to eliminate health disparities.

Week two will include class discussions on the linkages between race discrimination in healthcare in the United States and the prevalence of health disparities. Students will be required to do a presentation of their book review for class discussion on Days 4 and 5.

Day 1: Class discussion will focus on the history of health disparities and national efforts to reverse a history of neglect in the provision of healthcare to minorities and poor Americans

Day 2: Class discussion will continue exploring the linkages between the history of race discrimination in healthcare and the prevalence of health disparities in the United States. Students will be presented with international comparisions of data on health disparities from other countries.

Day 3: Class discussion will focus on national strategies to eliminate health disparities to include national standards around quality of care and cultural and linguistic competence, establishment of federal initiatives like the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities and Healthy People 2010, and creation of foundation programs such as those spearheaded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Day 4: Class discussion will focus on presentations of books students have read on individuals, institutions or organizations relevant to the history of African Americans in the Health Professions.

Day 5: Class discussion will focus on presentations of books students have read on individuals, institutions or organizations relevant to the history of African Americans in the Health Professions.

This description is a general overview. The instructor will establish the schedule and particular requirements at the time of the course.