Use of racial terminology on Radiopaedia.org
This style guide article outlines the use of racial terminology on Radiopaedia.org.
Race and ethnicity is a complex topic with a history of, and potential use for, discrimination. There are many issues in the use of race in medicine, mainly centred on definition, identification and relevance, along with a lack of overarching guidelines from international bodies such as the World Health Organisation.
The idea of race and ethnicity is complex and steeped in historical definitions, which have been and still are used for discriminatory purposes. Ideas on the basis of race and ethnicity revolve around:
- shared cultural homogeneity
- shared genetic homogeneity
All of these are problematic in medicine and each cannot be used as a definition in isolation as race and ethnicity are based within society but with a genetic basis.
Racial identification is difficult, mainly relating to the lack of definition as outlined above. In and before the 20th century racial definitions were constructed mainly on the basis of racial superiority, and their current relevance and use are debated. There is no consensus definition of racial identification.
Self-identification and physical appearances do not correlate well with an individual’s genetics. For example, a person who is deemed “white” (by self-identification or profiling) may have an Asian or black parent/grandparent, while a person who is deemed “black” (by self-identification or profiling) may have a white or Asian parent/grandparent.
The relevance of racial identification in medicine has been debated. One argument that has been brought forward is the genetic basis of disease, with higher rates of particular diseases in certain racial groups. Against this argument is that there are ethnic variations within racial groups that make racial identification less useful; relevant family history is much more important 1.
Race and/or ethnicity can be used on Radiopaedia.org if it is relevant to the teaching value of the case or article, just as age or sex may be relevant. We will leave the judgement of relevance to the contributor but this will be moderated by the editorial board.
There is no set of defined terms to be used on Radiopaedia.org. The use of discriminatory, malicious or defamatory terms (as judged by the senior editorial board) will not be tolerated and will result in immediate suspension.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, comments or concerns about the use of racial terminology on Radiopaedia.org.
- 1. Braun L, Fausto-Sterling A, Fullwiley D et-al. Racial categories in medical practice: how useful are they?. PLoS Med. 2007;4 (9): e271. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040271 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data. National Academies Press. ISBN:0309140129. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
Help and Style Guide
style guide and help
- general overview
- Radiopaedia.org supporters
- copyright/plagiarism/brand name issues
- how to use... (A-Z)
- a vs an
- accepted abbreviations
- apostrophe use and eponyms
- commas in body text lists
- bulleted and numbered lists
- dashes and hyphens
- names of individuals
- numbers, units, and operators
- racial terminology
- how to use... (A-Z)
- have a play in our sandbox (test page)
- how to create an article (watch YouTube tutorial)
- types of articles
anatomy of an article
- standard article structure
- special types of articles (A-Z)
- anatomy article structure
- comparative article structure
- curriculum article structure
- examples of normal imaging article structure
- fracture article structure
- interventional procedure article structure
- medical device article structure
- mnemonics article structure
- radiography article structure
- short article structure
- summary article structure
- articles on conditions that affect multiple systems
- contributing a case to illustrate an article
- see also
- adding images to an article
- merging duplicate articles
- synonyms (watch YouTube tutorial)
- why upload cases to Radiopaedia.org
- uploaders (plugins and stand alone apps)
- how to upload a case (watch YouTube tutorial)
- types of cases
- patient confidentiality
- case publishing guidelines
- anatomy of the perfect case
- quiz mode
- selection tools
- push back to draft
- case of the day guidelines
- Radiopaedia identification number (rID)
- multiple choice questions
- medical illustrations and diagrams
- editorial team
- editorial projects
- Radiographics update initiative
- supported browsers