Racism Declared a Public Health Threat by the American Medical Association

The organization that groups more than 250,000 members believes that racism exacerbates health inequities among historically marginalized communities.

The American Medical Association (AMA, for its acronym in English), in a landmark decision, decided to officially recognize racism as a public health problem since it “negatively impacts and exacerbates health inequities among historically marginalized communities.”

The organization is one of the oldest in the United States. It was instituted on May 7, 1847 and has more than 250,000 members. In a statement, Willarda V. Edwards, a member of the association’s board, stated that “without systemic and structural change, health inequities will continue to exist and the overall health of the nation will suffer. As physicians and leaders in medicine, we are committed to optimal health for all and we are working to ensure that all individuals and communities reach their full health potential. ”

The decision implies a whole new policy among its members.

1. Recognize that although the main drivers of racial inequity in health are systemic and structural racism, racism and unconscious prejudice within medical research and the provision of health care have caused and continue to cause harm to marginalized communities and to society as a whole.

2. Recognize racism, in its systemic, cultural, interpersonal and other forms, as a serious threat to public health, to the advancement of health equity, and a barrier to adequate medical care.

3. Support the development of policies to combat racism and its effects.

4. Encourage government agencies and non-governmental organizations to increase funding for research on the epidemiology of the risks and damages related to racism and how to prevent or repair them.

5. Encourage the development, implementation and evaluation of undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education programs and curricula that generate a greater understanding of the causes, influences and effects of systemic, cultural, institutional and interpersonal racism, as well as how to prevent and improve health. effects of racism.

In addition to these guidelines, the organization invited its members to identify best practices for healthcare institutions, medical practices, and academic medical centers to recognize, address, and mitigate the effects of racism on patients, providers, international medical graduates, and populations. As well as working to prevent and combat the influences of racism and prejudice in health technologies.


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