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MSTP BLM Statement

The students and leadership of the UMass Chan MD/PhD program categorically denounce the most recent example of the racism and brutality that plagues our nation. In 8 minutes, George Floyd’s life was extinguished by the focused weight of centuries of injustice. Injustice engendered by the blatant ignorance and implicit bias that for far too long have perpetuated a culture of racism, at enormous cost to the health and wellbeing of many in our community.

The faculty and students of the UMass Chan MD/PhD program are committed to developing and engaging in concrete actions to mitigate our own ignorance and implicit biases. As physician scientists, established or in training, we have the opportunity to directly address these injustices and train the generation that will help eliminate them.

We will begin this effort by incorporating into our curriculum, through our weekly Physician Scientist’s Forum, a focus on race and injustice in our medical system. We will analyze the ways that minorities are disproportionately affected by disease burden and the social determinants of health. We will talk about the roles of physician scientists in clinical investigations and study the large clinical trials that have not incorporated race as a variable. We will use these lessons to ask whether the clinical trials taking place at UMass CHan have incorporated race as a variable, and if not, why? We will talk about violence and brutality, about why abuse engenders violence, and about why violence is allowed to persist in societal institutions. We will seek expert opinions on where the bottlenecks are, and how we could widen them in our community to achieve progress faster.

We all wish we could do more during difficult times like these. But we have the opportunity to meet this moment with intellectual fortitude and discipline, and commit to using our program to advance this righteous cause.

Above all, we want to recognize the hurt and exhaustion that many of our peers are experiencing. We emphatically state that we are here for you in this community, and want to honor the spirit and support for one-another that lies at the heart of our program.