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Diversity and Inclusion

A work-in-progress resource for faculty, students, and administrators on creating more inclusive and diverse classrooms.

Sickle Cell Vision: A Patient's Photographic Illustration of Coping

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Ross, P. T., Davis, H. L., Kumagai, A. K., Campbell, A. D., & Lypson, M. L. (2010). Medicine and the arts. Sickle cell vision: A patient's photographic illustration of coping [excerpt] by Heather L. Davis. Commentary. Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges85(7), 1210-1211.  

Embedded mistrust then and now: findings of a focus group study on African American perspectives on breast cancer and its treatment

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Ferrera, M., Feinstein, R., Walker, W., & Gehlert, S. (2015). Embedded mistrust then and now: findings of a focus group study on African American perspectives on breast cancer and its treatment. Critical Public Health, 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2015.1117576  

Abstract: The risk of African American women dying from breast cancer is estimated to be 41% higher than that of White women throughout the USA. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) perspective, this qualitative study elicited attitudes, beliefs and concerns about breast cancer and its treatment amongst African Americans living in Chicago. Five hundred and three women and men were recruited from 15 of Chicago’s predominantly African American South Side neighborhoods. Participants were interviewed in 49 focus groups, 2–3 focus groups representing each neighborhood. Grounded theory was used to analyze data. A prevalent theme in the analysis was a general sense of mistrust amongst African Americans towards breast cancer treatment and the health care system at large. This theme involved notions of being treated like a guinea pig; living in the legacy of Tuskegee and other forms of historically rooted experimentation on African Americans; and being maltreated because of race. These findings suggest that historical and contemporary incidents remain a point of debate. Findings warrant the promotion of increased cultural sensitivity amongst health professionals regarding this historically rooted mistrust and its present-day implications.

#BlackLivesMatter — A Challenge to the Medical and Public Health Communities

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Bassett, M. (2015). #BlackLivesMatter — A Challenge to the Medical and Public Health Communities. New England Journal Of Medicine, 372(12), 1085-1087. http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/nejmp1500529

Abstract: Two weeks after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict the police officer involved in the death of a black man, Eric Garner, I delivered a lecture on the potential for partnership between academia and health departments to advance health equity. Afterward, a group of medical students approached me to ask what they could do in response to what they saw as an unjust decision and in support of the larger social movement spreading across the United States under the banner #BlackLivesMatter. They had staged “white coat die-ins” but felt that they should do more. I wondered whether others in the medical community would agree that we have a particular responsibility to engage with this agenda.

Should health professionals be accountable not only for caring for individual black patients but also for fighting the racism — both institutional and interpersonal — that contributes to poor health in the first place? Should we work harder to ensure that black lives matter?