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The Danger of Stereotypical Patient Presentations in Medical Education

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"The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete." - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In order to make sure that prejudicial tactics do not surreptitiously pervade the way we perceive our colleagues and our clients, and in so doing consequently inform the care we give patients, it is absolutely necessary that we change the way demographic markers are discussed in the pre-clinical curriculum.

Please sign here if you believe that the Office of Medical Education at the Geisel School of Medicine can do more to:

I. Include demographic descriptions such as gender, race, and sexual orientation in clinical vignettes only when those traits are important to consider in clinical practice

II. Refrain from using case presentations that display people in a way merely used to highlight difference and further commonplace associations, rather than to promote associations based on fact and data

III. Acknowledge that health disparities between groups; such as those between genders, race, and people of varying sexual orientations; can be reflections of certain social determinants and not merely implied to be based on inherent genetic difference alone

Image Credit: https://www.rellat.com/2017/02/interview-with-rell...

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