Structural Racism and Supporting Black Lives - The Role of Health Professionals

Lecture by: Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH & Eduardo Medina, MD, MPH

Addressing violence against black communities must start with anti-racist practices in medical education and clinical practice. Structural racism— a confluence of institutions, culture, history, ideology, and codified practices that generate and perpetuate inequity among racial and ethnic groups — is the common denominator of the violence that is cutting lives short in the United States. Health care professionals have an individual and a collective responsibility to understand the historical roots of contemporary health inequities and to contribute to health equity in concrete ways.

The objectives of this presentation are to:

1. Learn about, understand and accept the U.S. racist roots and its role in health inequity.

2. Understand how racism has shaped our narrative about health disparities.

3. Define, recognize, and acknowledge racism in its distinct forms: structural, interpersonal and internalized.

4. Center at the margins-Shift our viewpoint from the dominant narrative to that of marginalized group or groups.

5. Understand how the health care system can perpetuate and combat structural racism.


Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH

Dr. Rachel R. Hardeman is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Policy & Management, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health. Published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health, Dr. Hardeman’s research has elicited important conversations on the topics of racism in medicine, culturally-centered care, and structural racism as a fundamental cause of health inequities. Dr. Hardeman is a leader in training and teaching medical students and physicians about structural racism and health inequity and has served as a Co-Investigator and Co-PI on multiple studies that aim to understand and intervene on racism in medical education. Dr. Hardeman is active locally and nationally with organizations that seek to achieve health equity. She serves on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood of the North Central States and is a member of The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Maternal Mortality Review Information Application Working Group on bias and discrimination. Dr. Hardeman earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry and Spanish from Xavier University of Louisiana, an MPH in Public Health Administration and Policy and a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Eduardo Medina, MD, MPH, Family Medicine

Dr. Eduardo Medina is a board-certified family physician at the Park Nicollet Clinic Minneapolis and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Medina has worked throughout his career and education to advance health equity and high-quality healthcare for all communities. Dr. Medinas’ previous work includes engaging with under-resourced communities to improve access to pain, palliative and hospice care in New York City. He has also examined obesogenic environments associated with food deserts and socioeconomic inequity. Dr. Medina currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Ladder, a nationally recognized progressive mentorship program exposing under-represented populations to careers in the health professions. Dr. Medina completed his MPH at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and his MD and Family Medicine Residency at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Medina earned an undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies with a concentration in sociology from Wesleyan University.