“This institution was never meant for me”: the Impact of Institutional Historical Portraiture on Medical Students
Many academic institutions are reexamining their relationship to historical artwork in shared or public spaces, and questioning the continued commemoration of figures who participated in and benefited from slavery, colonization, and the oppression of marginalized populations.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 This qualitative project examined how Yale School of Medicine (YSM) students responded to institutional portraiture at Sterling Hall of Medicine (SHM)–the flagship building on the medical school campus.
Elizabeth Fitzsousa was funded by the YSM Medical Student Fellowship.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.
- 1.Bacon J. Confederate Statue, known as ‘Silent Sam,’ toppled by protestors on UNC campus. USA Today. August 21, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/08/21/confederate-statue-silent-sam-university-north-carolina-chapel-hill/1049796002/. Accessed 26 June 2019.
- 2.Rosenberg Z. Confederate general busts at Bronx Community College will be removed. Curbed New York. August 16, 2017, https://ny.curbed.com/2017/8/16/16158414/bronx-community-college-confederate-busts-nyc. Accessed 26 June 2019.
- 3.Kowalczyk L. In an About-Face, Hospital will Disperse Portraits of Past White Male Luminaries, Put the Focus on Diversity. Boston Globe. June 14, 2018. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/06/13/about-face-hospital-will-disperse-portraits-past-white-male-luminaries-put-focus-diversity/0pICgbpsw7QoHFFJQQEZOJ/story.html. Accessed 26 June 2019.
- 4.Strauss V. Students Remove Shakespeare Portrait from English Department at Ivy League School. Washington Post. December 13, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/12/13/students-remove-shakespeare-portrait-from-english-department-at-ivy-league-school/?utm_term=.694dbed77d4a. Accessed 26 June 2019.
- 5.Jan T. About-Face at Harvard. Boston.com . November 7, 2010. http://archive.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2010/11/07/harvard_aims_to_reflect_diverse_faces_in_portraits/. Accessed 26 June 2019.