Aboriginal health in the medical program in British Columbia: A curriculum analysis




De Castro Pereira, Gabriela

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It is well documented in the literature that Aboriginal peoples have a lower health status compared to the non-Aboriginal population in Canada. The underlining causes for this health disparity are found in the historical and contemporary practices of colonization and social, economic, and political deprivation. This thesis focuses on another of the complex factors which affect Aboriginal health status: the education and training provided to undergraduate medical students on Aboriginal health issues and the social determinants of health in British Columbia. I conducted a critical discourse analysis of the readings materials of three selected courses. I conclude from the analysis that although some of the themes covered by the courses critically present the historical, social and economic contexts for this health disparity, Aboriginal peoples are still characterized as a needy and sick population. Indigenous issues are far from being centrally positioned in the medical curriculum in British Columbia.



Aboriginal health, medical curriculum, discourse analysis, medical education, social determinants of health