Grand Rounds – Racism & Discrimination in Health Care & the Clinical Learning Environment: A Call to Action

Event Date & Time

December 2, 2020 at 12:30pm - 1:30pm


Video Conference

Event Details:


Martin Luther King once said “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane”. In this presentation, Dr. Ruth Berggren, MD, MACP, will discuss why racism is so difficult to talk about, introducing the sociological concept of “white fragility” in the context of what we know about implicit bias, cognitive load, and brain development. She will unpack some of the origins of the current state of racial inequality in the United States and the resulting inequitable health outcomes as well as mistrust of medical care by underrepresented minorities and persons of color. A sampling of these historical antecedents will include the 1930’s practice of redlining, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. After reviewing how we got here and why it matters, Dr. Berggren will share some personal lessons and engage the audience to consider the question: “What can we do?”, ending with a call to action.


1. Examine how historical and social practices (like redlining and jailing) give rise to health inequities and adverse health outcomes such as diabetes and related infections/amputations, as well as susceptibility to pandemic disease.

2.  Identify potential approaches to improve health outcomes and care within current contextual challenges to the US health care system.

3.  Implement 6 steps that individuals employ to speak up and mitigate racist behavior in the health care environment.

Financial Disclosures:

Ruth Berggren, MD, MACP has no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests to disclose.

The Family & Community Medicine Professional Development and Grand Rounds Committee members (Mark Nadeau, MD, Marcy Wiemers, MD, Maria Del Pilar Montañez Villacampa, MD, Christine Song, DO, Nehman Andry, MD, Gabriela Lopez, PsyD, Andrew Dinh, DO, Maureen Alvarado, DO, Inez I. Cruz, PhD, and Nichole Rubio) have no relevant financial relationships to commercial interests to disclose.

The Family & Community Medicine Professional Development and Grand Rounds Committee member Carlos Roberto Jaén, MD has disclosed he receives royalties from General Practice and Family Medicine for being UpToDate Editor-in-Chief.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (1.00 hours), Non-Physician Participation Credit (1.00 hours)

Target Audience:

Specialties – Primary Care; Family Medicine  
Faculty, residents, other health care providers and staff from our department; physicians and health care providers from San Antonio and South Texas; and medical students in our third-year clerkship and fourth year rotations. 


The UT Health Long San Antonio School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation:

The Long School of Medicine designates this live activity up to a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Nurses and other healthcare professionals will receive a Certificate of Attendance. For information on applicability and acceptance, please consult your professional licensing board.

For activity related questions, please contact:

Name: Nichole Rubio- FCM Grand Rounds Coordinator


For CME general questions, please contact:

Ph: (210) 567-4445




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About the Speaker(s)

Ruth Berggren, MD, MACPRuth Berggren, MD, MACP
Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics
UT Health San Antonio