It’s not just Black and White anymore:

Incorporating health equity and social justice lenses in clinical research and health care to explain and address health disparities

  • Laurel Cederberg University of MInnesota School of Public Health


In medical research, researchers have long used the social categories of “race/ethnicity” and “socioeconomic status” to evaluate health and measure health differences/disparities that appear as groups of study subjects are compared. Often these research findings are incorporated into medical practice and beliefs. However, we now have learned that these social categories are instead proxies to the true underlying causes of disease and disparities: social determinants of health and structural racism. By applying new lenses to our clinical medical research, we can uncover true causes of health disparities that are hidden under the social labels of “race/ethnicity” and “socioeconomic status.”

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