CSOM Student-led Research Study Published Nationally

Marcus Mosley

The CUNY School of Medicine (CSOM) is proud to congratulate our own, Marcus Mosley, on his research study "Thinking With Two Brains: Student Perspectives on the Presentation of Race in Pre-Clinical Medical Education" which was published by The Association for the Study of Medical Education. The study was motivated by growing concern that during their education medical students come to believe that race is a biological construct and that differential treatment of patients on "race" is clinically beneficial. 

Marcus, a CSOM M3 student, explained that he was inspired by an article that found that medical students and residents held false beliefs about biological differences between Blacks and Whites and that these beliefs predicted differences in their pain medication management plans. "I was astonished that participants held these beliefs and became curious as to the role medical education plays in the development of these biases and false beliefs. This became the inspiration and launching pad for the study." Mosley explained. 

The research study itself consisted of in-depth interviews with twenty-two pre-clinical, mostly non-White, medical students attending a public medical school in a major metropolitan area in the northern United States. Interview content focused on how medical students experience the presentation of race in medical education, use race in their learning experiences, and envision using race as physicians in future clinical encounters. 

Participants described being most aware of the presentation of race in board-style questions and least aware of the presentation of race during lectures. They also described being aware of race in problem-based learning modules if the case revolved around likely race-disease association. "We found that our results are congruent with previous analyses around this subject," Mosley said. "Our study also added the perspectives of medical students of color and their experiences of 'cognitive dissonance,' specifically in their response to race-based statistics and health disparities education." Click here to read more about this research study. 

Dr. Victoria Frye

"Our hope is to continue to support Marcus' research, as well as his application for significant grant funding to expand the study in terms of the population and focus," said Dr. Victoria Frye, a Medical Professor in the Community Health and Social Medicine (CHASM) department of CSOM and the student's faculty sponsor. 

The full research team included two additional CSOM students, Nowshin Tasfia (U3) and Kimberly Serna (M1), as well as Dr. Marlene Camacho-Rivera, formerly of the CHASM department and current Assistant Professor of Public Health at the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, and Dr. Frye. 

For more information on the "Thinking with Two Brains" research project, contact Marcus Mosley at mmosley000@citymail.cuny.edu . For more information on similar research projects, contact Dr. Victoria Frye at vfrye@med.cuny.edu