The signs and symptoms of racism have long permeated our society, and are embedded in our clinical practice and medical education. Recent events in the US, including the murder of George Floyd, have brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the fore of public consciousness, and have sparked outrage and protests in countries around the world. COVID-19 has exposed the inequalities in our healthcare systems, as the virus has had a disproportionate impact on some ethnic minority communities. In this week’s episode, we discuss colonial undertones to contraception policy-making, how doctors remaining silent on racial issues are seen as complicit, and the lack of diversity in learning resources used in medical schools. How can we use the current climate as a teaching moment to engage with people, clinicians and patients, about their experiences of healthcare? And how do we begin to make reparations in medicine for centuries of institutionalised racism?
Annabel Sowemimo is a community Sexual & Reproductive Health registrar, working in Leicester. She is also the founder of Decolonising Contraception and a trustee for Medact charity.
Shani Scott works as a general internist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She is an associate program director for the Moses-Weiler Internal Medicine Residency Program, and is also the co-director of Diversity & Inclusion for the Department of Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.
Joan Saddler OBE is the director of partnerships and equality at the NHS Confederation, and the co-chair of the NHS Equality & Diversity Council. She was awarded an OBE in 2007 for services to health and diversity.
Resources mentioned by Jenny:
NEJM Perspective, "How Medical Education is Missing the Bull's-eye" by LaShyra Nolen
America Did What?! Podcast with Blair Imani & Kate Robards
Episode 1: Redlining and the GI Bill