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Author Notes:

Luwi J. Shamambo, Email: luwi.shamambo@emory.edu

The authors thank Dr. Holly Gooding and Dr. Hughes Evans for their guidance throughout this process.

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.



  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Health Care Sciences & Services
  • Medicine, General & Internal
  • General & Internal Medicine

Rethinking the Use of "Caucasian" in Clinical Language and Curricula: a Trainee's Call to Action


Journal Title:



Volume 37, Number 7


, Pages 1780-1782

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


As a 2nd year medical student with a public-health-oriented undergraduate education, I have been attuned to observing dialogues around race and medicine. As a Black woman at a predominantly white institution, I have had recurring concerns about the way we speak about race in medical curricula. I continue to wrestle with questions such as why do lectures and exams indicate patients’ race in clinical vignettes in which race has no bearing? Why do we use race as a proxy for ancestry in cases where genetics is relevant? Why do we remain inconsistent in using race terminology, from oversimplifying race by using “African American” and “Black” interchangeably to hierarchizing it by using outdated terms like “Caucasian”?

Copyright information:

© The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Society of General Internal Medicine 2022

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