Chapter 2 – Race and Ethnicity

2.0 Race and Ethnicity

Leon McDougle MD MPH and Camilla Curren MD

We begin this book with this chapter where we will look at race and skin-tone bias.


The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of racial bias and attitudinal disadvantages experienced by people.

Close-up picture of African American Women with half of face covered in white face paint
Blurred Lines | Chrisena Allen | CC BY-SA 2.0

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify racial bias in the medical community.
  • Identify racial bias in physician/patient relationships.
  • Describe techniques to neutralize the effects of racial bias or to ameliorate its severity.
  • Describe the negative effects of racial bias and discrimination when it is not recognized or addressed, from the perspective of the interviewee.


Prior to reading the Race Chapter, you will be asked to take a self-test.

  1. Read the Preliminary Information and disclaimer, then click on “I wish to proceed” to take the test.  Click to complete the Race-IAT and Skin-tone IAT located in Harvard University’s Project Implicit website.
  2. After taking the test, read the next section to see perspectives on racial and ethnic bias in health care.
  3. You will then have the opportunity to complete a knowledge check to see if you gained a heightened understanding of racial and ethnic bias in health care.
  4. Use this opportunity to learn more about conscious and unconscious bias in health care, to retake the IAT test(s) and to reflect on how you can apply what you’ve learned in this chapter.


Perspectives on Bias in Medicine Copyright © 2018 by Camilla Curren MD. All Rights Reserved.