To be clear, for black medical students, supporting Black Lives Matter and other health equality and social justice initiatives is not a matter of a professional oath. It is a matter of life or death, close or distant–that of a loved one or of a stranger of the same hue and shared struggles.
When I first read that the Northam picture came from a medical school yearbook, I thought about whoever might have been his Black classmates at the time.
Thomas Jefferson has said his piece and this time I won’t attempt to say anything back. This time I won’t stay silent either. This time, I’ll write.
On the subjects of disease and disparity, the NIH focuses on the genetic code inside individual bodies and ignores the wider contexts within which these bodies live, work, play and get sick. The NIH overlooks societal inequalities and gives genes too much credit.