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Anderson's Work Aims to Address Racism in the Medical Field

August 14, 2020
by Jordan Sisson

Recent work by Nientara Anderson, MHS, MD, a first-year resident in the Department of Psychiatry, has aimed at addressing the topic of racism in the medical field.

Anderson recently co-authored an article with Dowin Boatright, MD, MBA, MHS, assistant professor of emergency medicine; and Anna Reisman, MD, professor and director, Program for Humanities in Medicine, Blackface in White Space: Using Admissions to Address Racism in Medical Education, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The authors state that "most medical schools are white spaces where explicit and implicit racism occurs constantly and often goes unmentioned and unpunished," noting the disproportionately low number of Black medical students and faculty compared to white students and faculty, and that white medical school faculty are promoted more readily than Black faculty. They also point to examples of attendings and residents perpetuating false racist beliefs (e.g., Black people’s skin having more collagen), enforcing racial hierarchies in hospitals, making unchallenged racist remarks, and normalizing racism.

Anderson also was a discussant in a July panel on the topic of abolishing the police with speaker Donna Murch, MD, Professor of History at Rutgers University and author of Living for the City: Migration, Education and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California. Anderson shared a brief history of and her experiences with on-campus student activism, specifically at Yale School of Medicine.

Submitted by Jordan Sisson on August 14, 2020