Pedagogies of Love and (Epistemologic!) Promiscuity in Graduate Medical Education

A Vision of Socially Just Specialty Training in North America
Saleem Razack, MD, UBC

Presenter:  Saleem Razack, MD, University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital

Saleem Razack is a Pediatric Intensivist at BC Children’s Hospital and Research at the Centre for Health Education Scholarship and BCCH Research Institute in Vancouver, Canada.  His area of research is anti-racist pedagogies in health professions education.  He completed his MD degree at the University of Toronto, followed by residency and fellowship at the Montreal Children’s Hospital/McGill University, where he was on faculty from 1996-2022.  He has held several positions of educational program leadership in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill University, and is currently the senior faculty advisor to the Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office at UBC. 

Session Title: Pedagogies of Love and (Epistemologic!) Promiscuity in Graduate Medical Education: A Vision of Socially Just Specialty Training in North America


(Note:  In this description, several significant historical events concerning systemic discrimination and racism are referenced (specifically involving anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism), which may be triggering for some people.  These events are referenced in an attempt to highlight the harms that the medical profession has been part of, seeking to promote necessary discussion for change.)

In healthcare, we are living in meaningful times. As the pandemic switches to the endemic (possibly – there are great unknowns), we find ourselves in a transformed healthcare system, with new patterns of practice, in which we dance on shifting sands.  A reckoning in medical education is also underway – the murder of George Floyd, the mistreatment and deaths of many Indigenous people in healthcare, and the ongoing discovery of Indigenous children’s graves in or near residential/boarding school sites have highlighted great systemic injustices within society, and the profession’s role as a tool of these injustices.  These injustices have always been known to those who personally or whose family members experienced them, and to say that these events have highlighted injustice is to assert that they have been brought into the consciousness of persons more naïve to their effects.

In graduate medical education, perhaps the greatest recognition has been that we live and work in healthcare systems that were designed to discriminate. Recognizing the non-benign design of health care systems has profound implications for how specialty physicians ought to be trained, and the knowledge systems they will need to access to be skillful practitioners in the new reality.

In this talk, Dr. Razack hopes to engage the audience in reflecting on how graduate medical education, including notions of professionalism, may need to evolve and adapt to a reframing that understands injustice as built-in to health care systems and practice, and which looks at the totality of health as having multifactorial causality, with determinants ranging from the biological, to the structural, to the lived physical environment. Through commonplace case discussions, we will explore how residency education might be transformed for greater social justice, for the best possible health outcomes for all, and for the planet.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify teachable moments in common clinical situations encountered in medical practice in which structural discrimination manifests.
  2. Consider instructional methods in clinical teaching which help develop learners’ critical consciousness to appreciate and address structural issues encountered by patients in health care.
  3. Reflect on how the process of professional identity formation might evolve for greater social justice in medicine.

A virtual event sponsored by the SMHS CFE Academy of Education Scholars.

Register for this session here