From Race to Racism: Teaching a Tool to Critically Appraise the Use of Race in Medical Research

Amy Garvey, Giselle Lynch, Mayce Mansour, Andrew Coyle, Sabrina Gard, Joseph Truglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite the ubiquitous use of race within scientific literature, medical trainees are not taught how to critically appraise the use of racial categories. We developed a tool to appraise the use of race in medical literature and a workshop to teach this approach. Methods: Third-year medical students and second- and third-year residents participated in workshops between 2015 and 2018. We evaluated our UME workshop with a postworkshop survey. We evaluated our GME workshop with a pretest, immediate posttest, and 6-month posttest on self-assessed knowledge, skills, and use of the Critical Appraisal of Race in Medical Literature (CARMeL) tool in subsequent journal clubs. Results: We delivered this workshop to 560 students and 82 residents. Of the initial 140-student cohort evaluating the workshop, 99 (71% response rate) highly rated clarity of presentation, quality of teaching, and quality of slides. Of PGY 2 and PGY 3 residents, 67 (82% response rate) rated the workshop greater than 4.5 out of 5 on quality, clarity, and appropriateness of content. Residents had significant improvements in self-assessed knowledge and skills immediately after the session and 6 months later. Of residents, 74% reported using the CARMeL tool in subsequent presentations. Discussion: We designed the CARMeL tool and a workshop to teach it. Trainees rated this workshop as useful, with the majority of residents later applying the tool. Limitations included a lack of objective assessment of knowledge acquisition. We recommend that institutions invest time in faculty development and pair new faculty with those experienced in anti-oppressive facilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11210
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - 2022


  • Anti-Racism
  • Diversity
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Heath Equity
  • Inclusion
  • Racism


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