Kyle Brothers and Mildred Cho: How to Talk about Race in Designing Genetic Research


5:00 A moment of reckoning for race and medicine

10:00 Watch your language! Why terminology is key.

17:30 Mildred suggests that the federally mandated categories for recording information on race need to be reevaluated.

21:00 Race affects health outcomes, but that doesn’t mean it is genetic. “When you use race as part of medicine, you send a message that race has a biological reality which is absolutely not true.”

24:00 For information on genetic ancestry, self-report is inadequate. “You need to look at the genetic variants themselves.”

25:20 Don’t be too polite! Kyle thinks we live in an excessively polite society ( he is not from NYC). We have to identify and name racism as a cause if we are to understand how it contributes to health outcomes. “…don’t push under the rug the mechanism causing the outcomes you are observing.

29:35 Journals have a role to play in enforcing standards for reporting and in what they choose to publish.

32:00 Important safety tip: in doing research that involves genetics, don’t treat white as “normal.”

If you are a clinician, researcher, or editor working in genetics, you are probably aware of the toxic history of our field with regard to race. And (JAMA editors aside, apparently) you are probably aware that this is not just a historical problem, but something affecting medical practice today. How do we move forward in a fashion that is not racist – or, better yet, anti-racist?

How do we start to dismantle the pervasive legacy of racism? A recent article in GIM by Kyle Brothers, Robin Bennett, and Mildred Cho took on this challenge, laying out an 8-principle guide for how (and how not!) to talk about race in designing and reporting on genetic research. Today on the Beagle, University of Louisville Professor Kyle Brothers and Stanford University Professor Mildred Cho join me to talk about their proposal.

Customize This