Anti-Racism in Integrative Medicine

The Andrew Weil Center of Integrative Medicine (AWCIM) is committed to celebrating diversity, advocating inclusivity, and championing equity. At its core, integrative medicine must advocate for health equity for all members of society, including socioeconomic factors which impact both access to healthcare and the quality of care received, and ultimately, confront the structural racism that is embedded within healthcare systems.

The Center asserts that it is imperative that integrative medicine clinicians acquire the skills and cultural awareness necessary to address and mitigate health disparities. To make a significant impact on these issues, curricula must be restructured to include the influence of systemic racism and discrimination throughout the learner's education. With this in mind, we established a goal of establishing an anti-racist inclusive integrative medicine curriculum.

We determined 5 key areas of bias and discrimination that historically and continually influence health and healthcare access:

  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Age

The course provides you with the opportunity to learn about the history and impact of racism in medicine, to consider the implications of racism to integrative medicine, and to reflect on the significance of racism in medicine to you personally. The lead faculty for this course are Drs. Genesa Wagoner and Mia Sanders. Much of the course is video and self-reflection questions. The course takes approximately 3 hours to fully complete. No CE is available.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand the history of racism in medicine in the US.
  • Understand factors in US history that contribute to current segregation, wealth disparities and health disparities between people of color and white people.
  • Identify the current effects of racial disparities on diagnosis, treatment and wellbeing.
  • Understand the available data regarding CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) disparities in usage and outcomes.
  • Identify different types of Racism/Anti-Racism and their effects.
  • Understand how explicit bias and implicit bias affect provider/patient and caregiver/patient relationships and how training can help.
  • Identify steps that can be taken at the clinical, organization, community and systemic levels to decrease racial disparities.