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Academic Medicine Podcast

Aug 2, 2021

"People are not born racists; these are learned behaviors. Over time and generations, these learned behaviors have manifested in institutional and systemic racism, teaching our medical learners and demonstrating to our patients that the commission of racism is acceptable."

Robert Sapien is a distinguished professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, associate dean for admissions, director of the Combined BA/MD Degree Program, and principal investigator of the Child Ready Program and New Mexico Emergency Medical Services Program at the University of Mexico School of Medicine. He reflects on a lifetime of being on the receiving end of systemic and institutional racism, and how even institutions with strong social missions can misstep by overlooking how these learned behaviors manifest - in ways subtle or not.

This essay was published in the Teaching and Learning Moments column in the August 2021 issue of Academic Medicine. Read the essay at