Health Equity and Racial Justice Pathway

The Health Equity and Racial (HEAR) Justice Pathway engages learners in conversations, skill building, and reflection around improving health outcomes for people of color, promoting equity in the medical workforce, and actively dismantling systems of oppression that perpetuate health inequities.

HEAR Justice Pathway Objectives

It is the aim of the pathway to create a longitudinal learning experience for trainees and medical students committed to addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in health care, and create meaningful opportunities to advance racial justice.

The main objectives that drive the HEAR Justice pathway are:

  • Foundational Frameworks: Learners will demonstrate understanding of foundational concepts in DEI 
  • Equity in Patient Care: Learners will gain skills necessary to improve care for marginalized patient populations in order to achieve health equity 
  • Interpersonal Relationships and Community Building: Learners will intentionally reduce bias in their interpersonal interactions and build community with colleagues, patients, and families from diverse backgrounds
  • Critical Self-Reflection and Personal Inquiry: Learners will critically assess their intersectional social identities in order to engage in lifelong learning in DEI
  • Health Systems and Structures: Learners will examine the role of DEI within the broader health care system and develop strategies to reduce systemic bias through institutional change.
HEAR Justice Course Highlights

Many learners are interested in reducing the impact of racism on health. This Pathway will offer a week-long didactic experience that engages learners in conversations, skill building, and reflection around improving health outcomes for people of color, promoting equity in the medical workforce, and actively dismantling systems of oppression that perpetuate health inequities.

Learners may either participate in the 5-day course, or they may opt to participate in the longitudinal Pathway, which offers learners opportunities for reflection through journal clubs, discussion groups, racial affinity caucusing group and a community of praxis.

"Reflection + Action = Praxis" our course philosophy is it's not about the answers but the process

  • Introduce participants to tools to understand the complexity of real world problems that oppose the advancement of health and equity and racial justice; to engage learners in building skills to meaningfully address these problems and transform society
  • Present impactful sessions led by experts and community partners in varying modalities such as lectures, workshops, panels, simulation sessions, small group reflections and de-briefs and community experiences
  • Engage learners in reflecting, discussing and applying concepts learned in smaller learning communities facilitated by faculty to advance racial justice principles so learners can develop anti-racist, equity-informed approaches to address real world problems
  • Provide an opportunity for learners to apply equity-informed approaches and an anti-racist lens to their individual work or participate in small groups to address program/project challenge or personal challenge
Sample Course Schedule from Fall 2020
Sample Course Schedule from Fall 2020
HEAR Justice Longitudinal Pathway 

Learners that want to participate in the longitudinal pathway will have an opportunity to engage with the week-long didactic course, participate in six pathway events throughout the year and take part in monthly meetings within a community of praxis. 

Social Justice Discussion Club: The Social Justice Discussion Club (SJDC) seeks to engage residents, fellows, and faculty across disciplines in conversation about social justice issues to learn, reflect, and build skills for promoting equity as physicians. Through timely popular multimedia sources including podcasts, longform essays, books, and films, SJDC provides a dedicated space for exploring modern issues in a historical context and through a multidisciplinary lens. The sessions explore issues of race, bias and prejudice, privilege, and community activism for the most vulnerable populations. Sessions are held every other month.

Race-Based Caucusing: Race-based affinity group meetings are a space for UCSF residents and fellows to deepen anti-racist work and process the impact of racism on ourselves and our community. The group creates a space to talk about experiences of racism, privilege, and allyship. These sessions are held every quarter in the evening. 

Co-learning Community of Praxis: The community of praxis will offer longitudinal pathway learners an ongoing, non-hierarchical and stable learning community to support anti-racist structural change and help participants in fulfilling the praxis model. Each 90 minute session will be held monthly and will have varying themes that will encourage personal exploration and move learners towards advancing their positions on the anti-racism continuum. 

Personal Reflection Portfolio: In lieu of a traditional scholarly project, the longitudinal pathway participants will create a portfolio of their experiences and reflections throughout the Pathway process. This further iterates our philosophy that it's not about the answers, but the process and puts the emphasis on engaging in critical reflection, action and praxis. 


How to critically engage challenges in racism by using theory, skills, praxis on an individual, interpersonal and structural level
Frequently Asked Questions

What will I do once I am in the HEAR Justice Pathway?

  • To help prepare you for careers of innovation, leadership, and scholarship in addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in health care, and create meaningful opportunities to advance racial justice, you will participate in formal course, guided experiential learning, and a mentored scholarly project.

Who should take the course only?

  • Learners who are interested in reducing the impact of racism on health and may not have time to fully commit to the longitudinal components of the Pathway have the opportunity to partake in the October course to learn about the tenets around addressing diversity, equity and inclusion in the healthcare setting. The course is intended to be a level 2 course, so previous coursework and/or learning experiences in DEI is strongly encouraged.

Who should participate in the longitudinal pathway?

  • Learners may opt to participate in the longitudinal pathway if they wish to remain engaged in health equity and racial justice work and the community. The Pathway will require that learners participate in producing a reflection portfolio, and will offer longitudinal opportunities for reflection through social justice discussion club, community of praxis, and racial affinity caucusing group

Is there a cost to participate in the HEAR Justice Pathway?

  • No, the GME Pathways program and the various pathways within the program, including the HEAR Justice Pathway, is offered free to our UCSF trainees and students.

What is your absence policy?

  • In general, we excuse no more than 1 days of absences (approximately 80% attendance is required). We understand that several of you have clinical duties and responsibilities, so course directors should be notified in advance of any sessions that will be missed and we will work with you to develop a make-up plan if necessary.

Is there a project requirement?

  • If a learner is participating in the longitudinal pathway, in lieu of a traditional project, we request that our learners complete a reflection portfolio. We emphasize that the process and transformation is key takeaways for this pathway and is seen as the most critical "deliverable".

I’m a UME student. Why should I take this course/pathway?

  • A: In addition to receiving 1 week towards your Deep Explore project time, this course would be very helpful in engaging learners interested in advancing racial justice and health equity in various critical topics. There are three additional features we like to highlight. Residents and fellows also participate in this program, which provides students with a unique opportunity to interact with others crafting a career in health equity. Second, the ongoing longitudinal activities, such as RBC, SJDC and monthly meetings provides additional support and community as learners in anti-racism work. Third, this course is an instrumental step in becoming more integrated and connected to the DEI community at UCSF and learning skills for activism.

What are the Community of Praxis sessions, Race-based Caucus, and Social Justice Discussion Club? Do I have to attend them?

  • These sessions are designed to foster an ongoing community of like-minded peers and faculty that are focused on advancing equity and racial justice in the healthcare setting. Learners will be connected to and engage with an ongoing peer, near-peer, and faculty support system to further their knowledge, skills, and careers as DEI champions and scholars.

When do I need to complete all the requirements for the Pathway?

  • All components of the longitudinal pathway must be completed by late-May of your completion year. If you have concerns about not being able to complete the requirements, contact the pathway leadership team, as early as possible to discuss your specific situation.