Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 214–219 | Cite as

An Exploratory Study of Stress Coping and Resiliency of Black Men at One Medical School: A Critical Race Theory Perspective

  • Cassandra AcheampongEmail author
  • Carenado Davis
  • David Holder
  • Paige Averett
  • Todd Savitt
  • Kendall Campbell


Black men have reported a number of stressful experiences during medical school training. Guided by Critical Race Theory, the authors examined the survey responses of 16 Black men who matriculated at one medical school to assess perceptions of medical school stress. The researchers identified several themes: (1) perceived academic inequities created tension between Black and non-Black medical students but provided bonding opportunities among Black male medical students, (2) stress negatively impacted academic performance and personal health, and (3) use of social support and spirituality contributed to coping and resiliency. For Black male medical students, the general stress of medical school can be compounded by additional race-related stress. Supporting the success of Black male medical students requires understanding perceived stressors, a focus on helping Black men build social and spiritual connections that contribute to resiliency, and active efforts at the organizational level to address perceptions of academic inequity.


Underrepresented minority students in medicine Stress coping of Black men Race and ethnicity Black men in medical school 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research on Human Participants

This study was approved by the University Medical Center Institutional Review Board.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Carolina University Brody School of MedicineGreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina University Laupus Health Sciences LibraryGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.East Carolina University School of Social WorkGreenvilleUSA

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