So where do we start? We start by using pedagogy grounded in anti-racist praxis to accelerate change in order to achieve health equity this generation. We must commit to naming racism, understanding how racism is operating here and now, and organizing and strategizing to act; all parts of a call to action by Dr. Camara Jones, past President of the American Public Health Association. Our anti-racism work in health care must be intersectional, and explicitly anti-capitalist, anti-misogynist, anti-ableist and anti-heteronormative. We must demand that we interrogate unfair white advantage just as much as Black and brown disadvantage. The Movement for Black Lives advocacy platform and the 2001 United Nations declaration from the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, should serve as guiding documents for our anti-racism work in health care, among others. Our work must center a goal of supporting the next generation of health professionals to accelerate their political education. Most importantly, our work must center our patients and communities and their lived experience of structural racism.

Achieving health equity is a process and not an event. Medicaid employment requirements are structural racism, just like the rest of American healthcare. But we have the potential to transform health care now. We must work across disciplines to remediate decades of structural racism to improve the health of our entire society, while insisting upon a new expression of our role as health professionals in societal change.

Dr. Michelle Morse works to rethink medical education and expand the teaching of social medicine globally, and to support health systems strengthening through equitable approaches to human resources for health. She serves as an internal medicine hospitalist, Founding Co-Director of EqualHealth, and social medicine course director at Harvard Medical School. Previously, she served for three years as deputy chief medical officer at Partners In Health (PIH) and as Assistant Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and now serves on the Board of Directors of PIH. In 2015 Dr. Morse worked with several partners to found the Social Medicine Consortium (SMC), a global coalition of over 800 people representing over 50 universities and organizations in twelve countries, which seeks to use activism and disruptive pedagogy rooted in social medicine to address the miseducation of health professionals on the root causes of illness.  In 2018, Dr. Morse was awarded a Soros Equality Fellowship to work on the SMC’s global Campaign Against Racism. 



[3] Jha AK, Orav EJ, Li Z, Epstein AM. Concentration and quality of hospitals that care for elderly black patients. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(11):1177–82.