Maiya Smith (1 Posts)
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Maiya Smith is a third-year medical student at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii class of 2022. In 2017, she graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Science in anthropology and human biology. She enjoys hiking with her dogs, surfing and macrame in her free time.
Medicine is a discipline that claims to be based on empirical and scientific truth about human nature. Instead, its knowledge and practice are often steeped in biases like racism. For example, medicine was used in the nineteenth century to justify slavery due to the “biologically inherent superiority” of White races.
Is medical education doing enough to address future physicians’ abilities to understand the perspectives of their patients? As a medical student, my growing disillusionment begins with medical school and the lack of opportunities afforded to us during our education to discuss matters such as racial inequality.
As I grew up, I felt these lines and had a vague idea of where they lay. I knew where in Louisville I felt “safe,” and I also knew where the “bad parts of town” were located. The lines and their forced labels serve to enhance the lives of some people, myself included, while limiting others. Two cities exist within one border separated by an undeniable feature — skin color.
I agree that protesting is best done in peace, / But wasn’t that tried by taking a knee? / Or hashtags that said Black Lives Matter, / And praying that change would come with the chatter.
I stand for justice and peace; / I stand for equity alongside equality. / I stand until the hate crimes cease.
But we should not need to view videos of Black individuals suffering or in pain in order to mobilize. Others, unrecorded and alone, die by the hands of our state. It is time for Americans to turn their gaze away from violent images of Black death and inwards to consider the invisible and not-so-invisible ways we uphold white supremacy every single day.
Anna Ayala (1 Posts)
Oregon Health and Science University
Anna is a first-year medical student at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon class of 2023. In 2019, she graduated from Willamette University with a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry. She enjoys tending to her houseplants, painting, and walking throughout her neighborhood. In the future, Anna would like to pursue a career rich in restorative justice, loving compassion, and social change.