From Race to Racism: Teaching a tool to critically appraise the use of race in med research 

Date of Review: May, 2022

This resource from MedEdPortal describes how to implement a new instrument – the Critical Appraisal of Race in Medical Literature (CARMeL) tool designed by the authors for use by undergraduate (UME) and graduate medical education (GME) students and the workshop created to teach learners to use this tool. The CARMeL tool was designed by the authors in consultation with specialists in the field, and social scientists in 2015 to provide learners with the ability to assess the use of race in medical literature. The workshop content was structured around the appraisal step of traditional EBM curricula which allows students to be able to determine the internal validity, external validity, and applicability of medical research as it relates to race. The workshop included 15-20 learners with one facilitator and the content consisted of: a conversation of race as a sociopolitical construct, a presentation of the CARMeL tool, an example article review with the entire workshop, a participant application of tool framework and discussion, and, finally, a reflection of how the skills could be used in the future. The initial cohort of the UME students were provided with anonymous course evaluations and responded positively to the clarity of presentation, quality of teaching, and quality of slides. For the GME students in the 2018-2019 cohort, they were provided with a pretest, a posttest, and a post-workshop survey 6-months later. They responded positively in several categories, including satisfaction, knowledge, confidence, barriers, and self-reported behavior, in the posttest and 6-month follow-up survey. Statistically significant improvements were found with self-assessed knowledge and skills immediately after the session and 6-months later with large effect sizes. The authors recommend further training for the facilitators of the workshop. This resource and workshop can easily be implemented using the materials provided and provides a concrete and actionable approach to managing the intractable challenges of racism in medicine. –Ashti Doobay Persaud, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:


Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Where was the Curriculum Implemented:

New York City, New York

Clinical Specialty

Anesthesiology. Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, OBGYN/Womens Health, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Radiology, Surgery, Urology

Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

Self-reported learner behavior in a real patient setting

Outcome and Study Design:


Level of Learner Assessment

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self-reflection, blogging with rubric)

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