Category: Health Magazine, Winter 2023

Title:Required summer reading for med students

Author: By Kat Zambon
Date Published: December 1, 2022
a black and white book with DNA helixes and the words "fatal intervention"
Photo: Courtesy of Dorothy Roberts

Thanks to the leadership of the Racial Justice Committee for Change (RJCC) members, the School of Medicine instituted required summer anti-racist reading in 2020 for incoming students in response to a letter written by medical students.

Starting as a first-year medical student in August 2020, months after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, Lauren Havens (M’24) was among the first to participate in the anti-racism summer curriculum.

“The anti-racist curriculum during orientation showed that the school’s values were in the right place,” she says.

This year’s first-year medical students met in small groups via Zoom to discuss Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-first Century by Dorothy Roberts.

At the heart of Roberts’ work is an effort to show that race is socially constructed, rather than biologically determined. At the same time, race is a lived reality for people of color who face an array of health disparities.

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