“Viruses Don’t Discriminate, but People Do: Teaching Writing for Health Professionals in the Context of Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter”

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Deborah Harris


This essay explores changes to an upper-division writing course Writing for Health Professionals in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the events that propelled Black Lives Matter into the media spotlight. Although instructors were required to move courses online with little time to prepare, I describe my efforts to incorporate the topics surrounding the pandemic and racial inequality into the course curriculum. The course consists of a medical ethics unit and a professional dossier; I found that both units became richer and more helpful to students by incorporating the context and kairotic moment in readings, class discussions, weekly forum posts, and major assignment options.

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