Black Female Physician To Share Story of Inequity In Medicine
Dr. Uché Blackstock, an emergency physician and founder of health equity non-profit Advancing Health Equity, will release her memoir “Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons With Racism In Medicine” on January 31st.
The book details Blackstock’s journey to becoming a doctor and her eventual awakening to the deep systemic biases hindering Black patients and providers.
Despite growing up immersed in a community of Black women physicians led by her mother, Blackstock writes that she did not fully grasp the barriers facing Black people in healthcare until she herself became a practicing doctor.
“I want people to understand how deeply rooted systemic racism is in our health care system, how that impacts what’s happening, and that there are things that each and every one of us can do to improve the status quo,” Blackstock stated in an interview with Essence.
Statistics Show Black Female Doctors Critically Underrepresented
The statistics on representation in medicine underline the importance of Blackstock’s advocacy. While Black women comprise over 7% of the U.S. population, less than 3% of American doctors are Black women. The numbers shrink even further at the highest levels of academia, with only 0.8% of medical school full professors identifying as Black women in 2020.
By showcasing her own journey to defy these odds, Blackstock spotlights the need for greater diversity and equity in the medical field. She also calls on white healthcare professionals “to look internally at their own biases” that perpetuate racial health disparities.
Memoir Offers Solutions To Bridge Divide in Healthcare
Alongside chronicling her experiences with racism and bias as a medical student and physician, Dr. Uché Blackstock’s new memoir also issues a “call to action” to create a more equitable system. The book aims to show that increased representation of Black providers is crucial but not the only solution.
Blackstock also advocates for broader societal investment in Black communities’ wellbeing through areas like education, economic opportunities, and safe living environments. “Health is actually not just about the healthcare system,” she argues. “It’s about investing in Black communities.”
Through bravely sharing her own story as a Black female physician, Uché Blackstock brings overdue attention to the racism plaguing medicine while offering ideas to move toward progress. Pre-orders for “Legacy” are available now ahead of its January 31st release.