Race and genetic ancestry in medicine - A time for reckoning with racism

Luisa N. Borrell, Jennifer R. Elhawary, Elena Fuentes-Afflick, Jonathan Witonsky, Nirav Bhakta, Alan H.B. Wu, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, José R. Rodríguez-Santana, Michael A. Lenoir, James R. Gavin, Rick A. Kittles, Noah A. Zaitlen, David S. Wilkes, Neil R. Powe, Elad Ziv, Esteban G. Burchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


In the United States, race, ancestry, genetics, and medicine are inextricably linked in a complex and fraught history. Medicine is replete with examples of racial injustice inflicted by the use of race and ethnicity as biologic constructs to engender hierarchical discrimination. Race and ethnicity are dynamic, shaped by geographic, cultural, and sociopolitical forces; they can influence people s socioeconomic position and lead to disproportionately high morbidity and mortality for racial and ethnic minorities by sustaining inequitable access to resources, including health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-480
Number of pages7
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 4 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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