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A resource for health professions educators to integrate humanities-based, anti-racism education 

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Racism underlies many of the health disparities faced by patients and remains a persistent threat to achieving and maintaining a diverse and inclusive healthcare workforce.

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Trainees in healthcare are living through a pivotal moment of reckoning with racism in both medicine and their communities at large; these future leaders of the field must be appropriately equipped to advocate for their patients, their colleagues, and themselves in order to advance health equity. Despite the immediacy and importance of this issue, there is little standardization or consensus on how to best equip health professions trainees to address racism on both an individual and institutional level.


However, there is growing agreement that approaches such as implicit bias and cultural humility training do not adequately arm healthcare trainees and professionals with the tools they need to be antiracist. To best equip our residents to make lasting personal and structural changes, we must make teaching anti-racism a priority. Approaching this critical topic can be daunting and health professions educators must be supported in obtaining the knowledge, confidence, and comfort necessary to convene these critical conversations.


The health humanities look beyond illness alone to the continuum of health and the social, historical and political forces that impact it.

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Dr. Nathan Irvin

Assistant Professor,  Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins


Dr. Kamna Balhara

Associate Professor,  Associate Residency Program Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins


The tools, resources, and curricular materials presented here were curated by an interdisciplinary team with expertise in social medicine, health humanities, and health professions education.

This team is led by Drs. Kamna Balhara and Nathan Irvin. Drs. Balhara and Irvin are emergency physicians and co-Directors of the Health Humanities at Hopkins EM initiative (H3EM), which offers social justice and humanities-based programming to institution, community, and national audiences.

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