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Monday, August 23, 2021

8/31: Special Presentation from The Office of Student Diversity, Health, Inclusion & Equity

 “Facing Racial Headwinds in the Intense Environment of Medical Education”


Presented by Napoleon B. Higgins, Jr., MD

Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 · Noon

To be held virtually via Zoomhttps://utmb.us/5x7



Every student who goes to medical school comes in with their own vantage points and unique needs. Universities will have official statements of the best intentions for students but miss critical issues of how human behavior and unconscious bias impact the school environment. Developing and empowering a safe and effective learning space for students is key to an already stressful medical education process. It is also vital that diverse students understand why they chose medicine and battle against self-doubt, questioning their ability to keep up and imposter syndrome; also, knowing racism exists and questioning whether they will handle the pressures of medical school and manage the landscape of racism and microaggressions that they have and expectedly will continually face. Lack of understanding will lead to poor productivity and a complex learning environment that stunts student's growth, interest, and creativity in medicine.


This talk intends to increase racial understanding in training, manage risks to non-traditional students, and retain and grow a diverse talent group in preparation for the continual challenges of medicine. Poor understanding of race will cause a lack of empathy and understanding that impairs students of diverse groups and leaves majority culture students unprepared for the growing diverse population.



1.         Preparing the diverse student populations for the difficulties they often face in medical education.

2.         To ensure that students keep in mind what is important and staying focused on their goals while in intense educational situations.

3.         How to combat against issues of imposter syndrome and microaggressions that are commonly faced in medical school.


This presentation is geared to students, but all members of the UTMB community are invited to participate.


For questions, contact Laurie Fentanes, lfentane@utmb.edu.