Anti-Oppression Curriculum Initiative

Group of medical students

Launched in July 2021, the Anti-Oppression Curriculum (AOC) Initiative aims to reinforce and expand the work of Differences Matter and the Bridges Curriculum’s Social Justice pillar while accelerating our focus on anti-oppression. The AOC Initiative is the key curricular element of the UCSF School of Medicine’s anti-oppression work.

The three-year AOC Initiative marks the establishment of an ongoing process of evaluation, reflection, and evolution necessary to build a responsive, anti-oppression curriculum.

The UCSF School of Medicine and AOC Initiative are engaged in this work with deep humility and with an understanding of the significant distance between current curricular content and approaches and the aspiration for the curriculum to embody a consistent and nuanced anti-racism, anti-oppression stance. 

Over three years, the AOC Initiative will leverage internal and external expertise representing a range of perspectives to review and adapt the Bridges Curriculum using an anti-racism, anti-oppressive lens. Content and methods that reinforce oppressive beliefs, values, and approaches will be identified and iteratively revised. Newly developed anti-oppressive content and approaches will begin to be integrated across all four years of our curriculum. While the AOC Initiative is a three-year initiative, the work to move the Bridges Curriculum towards a fully anti-oppressive approach is ongoing and will continue well beyond the Initiative’s initial three years. As part of its work, the AOC Initiative will make recommendations for sustainability and next steps to the deans with the goal of continuing UCSF’s School of Medicine on this critical path for years to come.

timeline showing the major milestones for the first three years of the AOCI

The mission of the AOC Initiative is to prepare all UCSF medical students to assume their critical role in partnering with patients and communities to combat oppression and advance health equity. 

Many forms of oppression are deeply engrained in the history and modern-day practice of health care, as well as in medical education itself.


We have gathered a diverse team to begin the challenging work of critically questioning and advancing our curriculum, processes, and policies in order to move towards equity and anti-oppression throughout our medical school.


This work is essential to developing future physicians and health care leaders who will have the mindset and skills to partner with patients and communities to optimize health for all.

Denise Connor, MD

Director, Anti-Oppression Curriculum Initiative

Share your feedback! 

To share general feedback with the AOC Initiative, contact the AOC Initiative team.

To provide specific feedback on the curriculum, students can use the SAFE (Supporting A Fair and Equitable Environment) form. The SAFE form is a method for students to share their experience in the Bridges Curriculum with the School leadership.

To report incidents of discrimination, students should fill out the SAFE (Supporting A Fair and Equitable Environment) form.