Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

November 1, 2017

From the Office of Health Disparities Research

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

2017 OHDR Retreat Keynote Address by David R. Williams, Ph.D.

By Sumedha Penheiter, Ph.D.

Approximately 100 researchers, clinicians, educators and administrators from across Mayo Clinic attended the 2017 Office of Health Disparities Research retreat, held Aug. 22–23 in Rochester, Minn. The event kicked off with an inspiring keynote address presented by David R. Williams, Ph.D., Harvard University, entitled "The House That Racism Built: Consequences and Opportunities for Health Equity."  Key points of Dr. Williams' presentation included:

  • Allostatic load due to everyday discrimination and racism leads to early onset of disease due to biological weathering.
  • Socioeconomic status is a major cultural determinant of health.
  • To prevent unequal treatment by providers, stereotype replacement is necessary.
  • When cultural competence in providers is high, racial disparities are minimized.

Watch Dr. Williams' stirring presentation:

View the presentation slides:


This article first appeared on the Mayo Clinic Office of Health Disparities Research blog. The Office of Health Disparities Research supports meaningful research to identify and address health disparities and to help ensure Mayo Clinic patients reflect the diversity of our communities.

Tags: About, Events, health disparities, Office of Health Disparities Research

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