“The sins of our forefathers”: reimagining research in health professions education

Tasha R. Wyatt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


As HPE begins to turn their attention to the lived experiences of minoritized groups in society, health professions education (HPE) researchers need to be aware of the history of social science research and the ways it contributes to creating systems of oppression. This is because as ‘knowledge producers,’ we make decisions about how to design our studies, analyze and interpret data, and report it in ways that are frequently oblivious to the harmful legacy of social science research, and how it continues to bring harm to minoritized communities. To not do so is to perpetuate a system that has historically served the dominant group at the expense of those who are limited in representing the world for themselves. This article proposes that HPE researchers engage in disruptive research practices by delinking with their disciplinary training, and reimagine their role in the research process. To accomplish this, I suggest that they engage in three strategies: attend to the research team’s composition, embrace critical theory and investigate epistemological ignorance. These strategies are nowhere close to exhaustive, and they do not extend as far as the conversation must go in reimagining our role in the research enterprise. However, in providing some initial thoughts on this topic, I hope to invite the HPE community into discussion on how we might harness our collective responsibility to resist research practices that are harmful and unjust to minoritized communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1206
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical theory
  • Decolonial research
  • Epistemological ignorance
  • Minoritizedcommunities


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