Tag: racism in medicine

Rohan Patel (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Rohan is a third year medical student at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. Upon graduating, he plans on pursuing anesthesiology, while continuing to focus on global health. His research interests encompass microbiology, social medicine, medical education, and quality control. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor's of Science in biochemistry with a minor concentration in psychology. He enjoys traveling and exploring new languages and cultures, especially in Asia.

Doctors Against DAPL

On Thursday, many of you will gather round a dinner table with your loved ones and give gratitude for your friends, family and good fortune. Many of you will think of the meal associated with the inception of this holiday, be filled with warm fuzzy feelings and gloss over the real history surrounding the relationship between those who supposedly attended the first “Thanksgiving” dinner. After eating a second helping of Grandma’s famous pie, few will be concerned about the side of historical oppression or racist colonization offered with this dinner because well, that isn’t so palatable.

Racial Discrimination as an African-American Medical Student

My recent psychiatry clerkship inspired me to examine racial relations during third-year rotations. This reflection originated from a physician submitting a particularly disturbing evaluation of me. She wrote: “[The student does not] recognize and address personal limitations or behaviors that might affect their effectiveness as a physician … [The student is] defensive, rigid, intense and intrusive; unable to see nuances in human behavior that is necessary for analyses of the human psyche; lower emotional quotient than peers.” Her response left me with an open-jawed, stuporous gaze. I could not believe that she had made this kind of assessment after interacting with me in only two patient encounters for less than half a day!

Seeing Past the Unicorns In Medicine, by Valencia Walker, MD

As an “underrepresented minority” in medicine, my personal experiences of mistreatment while navigating the challenges of pursuing this career are mostly invisible to the rest of society, but I know that they are far from mythical or unique. In fact, my experiences harmonize perfectly with the tales of so many African-American physicians before me and even in the accounts of the students I currently mentor. Everyone asks, “Aren’t things different now for African-Americans?” Yes. But, are they better? Sadly, not exactly.

Valencia Walker, MD Valencia Walker, MD (1 Posts)

Physician Guest Writer

David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA

Dr. Valencia Walker is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA. She is a practicing neonatologist with research interests focused on optimizing maternal-child health for local and international communities. As the Associate Medical Director of the UCLA Santa Monica NICU and Medical Director for UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center Newborn Nursery, Dr. Walker works as the physician champion for several projects designed to improve outcomes for the mother-infant dyad. Dr. Walker also travels to countries such as India, Guatemala, Tanzania and Haiti for medical mission trips. She has been dedicated to providing care for sick children and working in collaboration with local health officers to improve medical infrastructures as well as address the social, economic and health inequities within these countries.

Dr. Walker sits on a national committee for the Association of American Medical Colleges that is charged with crafting the design and implementation of policy statements that shape the country’s narrative surrounding barriers to better health outcomes in the United States. At the state level, she is Chairperson of the Ethnic Medical Organizations Section of the California Medical Association (CMA) and previously served on the CMA’s Science and Public Health Reference Committee which advises and guides the policies supported by the CMA for the welfare of patients and providers. Additionally, Dr. Walker is the current president for the Association of Black Women Physicians (ABWP). The mission of ABWP is to advocate for achieving health equity across traditionally underserved communities and eliminating the health disparities that exist.