In our role as teachers in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, we often talk about clinical guidelines, many of which include recommendations specifically for certain races or ethnicities. These race-based recommendations are meant to make healthcare equal for everyone, but they often do the opposite. Instead of narrowing, they actually widen the gap in healthcare disparities.
As teachers, we need to let our students in on these controversies. However, the debates about race-based recommendations are rarely brought up by us or other teachers in medical science. Many medical students aren't happy with how we discuss the link between race and health, particularly since we often talk about race as if it's a biological factor. This approach can hide the fact that racism and historical oppression are the real roots of many health issues.
Inclusivity in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics teaching is crucial for several reasons:
1. Diverse Perspectives: Each student brings unique experiences and perspectives to the table, often linked to their cultural, racial, or personal background. By being inclusive, we can tap into these diverse insights, fostering richer, more robust discussions and learning experiences.
2. Patient Representation: The patients our students will serve in the future will be diverse. Understanding the different genetic, cultural, social, and economic factors that can affect drug response is essential in providing effective, individualized patient care.
3. Equality and Fairness: All students deserve to feel valued and included, regardless of their background or identity. By fostering an inclusive environment, we uphold the fundamental principles of fairness and respect, promoting greater engagement and better learning outcomes.
Inclusivity is not just about being politically correct; it's about enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, preparing students for real-world diversity, and promoting equality, respect, and innovation.
We'll soon be adding more content about race-based medicine and how to handle it as an educator. Plus, we'll provide practical suggestions to help make your teaching style more welcoming and inclusive for all students.
In the interim, we recommend you check out this article on the topic, which was published in the Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics journal.