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Black Appointed Director of Residency Program’s Social Justice and Health Equity Curriculum

May 24, 2022

Carmen Black, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, has been appointed director of the Yale Department of Psychiatry Residency Program’s Social Justice and Health Equity Curriculum (SJHE).

SJHE includes four tracks – Structural Competency, Human Experience, Advocacy, and the History of Psychiatry – that span the post-graduate years I-IV and include didactic, experiential, and self-discovery learning. These tracks are supported by residents, fellows, and faculty, and each track is committed to the cultivation of transformational learning.

The curriculum is woven throughout the core curriculum for all trainees highlighting the importance and relevance as the department strives to develop leaders within 21st century psychiatry.

Black proudly identifies as an African American descendant of slavery and second-generation graduate of the Medical College of Georgia.

She joined the Yale Department of Psychiatry in 2019. Her primary clinical appointment is at the Connecticut Mental Health Center where she provides culturally authentic clinical care to many of Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents.

As an academic leader in antiracism in medicine, her research interests focus on how providers' own racial prejudice and bias against persons living with mental illness can iaotrgenically harm patients during real-time clinical practice and/or exacerbate patient distress to the point of behavioral emergencies. She is an international speaker and advocate for patient safety by exploring how police and security protocols for behavioral emergencies may traumatize already marginalized patients and produce inequitable clinical outcomes.

As a popular media presence, Black is concluding her year as a Public Voices Fellow of the OpEd Project where she has spent the last 10 months authoring and/or being featured as a national content expert in health equity in 20 media publications to date ranging from the Los Angeles Times to the Washington Post to Newsweek to National Public Radio (NPR).

Black and her mother, the Rev. Dr. Maria Black, were recipients of an inaugural 2021 Office of Health Equity Research (OHER) Award for Yale Research Excellence for a paper they co-authored about how older African American adults have traditionally used the Black Church to cope with racism.

Black said she looks forward to directing SJHE. She hopes to partner with Yale School of Medicine to expand SJHE content to medical students. She also intends to expand SJHE’s national and international presence through academic publication and advocacy efforts, including the creation of a syllabus and handbook for each track that may be disseminated on a national scale.

In July, Black will enter the two-year Master of Health Science in Medical Education program at Yale. She is the first psychiatry faculty member to undertake that degree and will use acquired skillsets toward ensuring a robust pedagogical foundation to SJHE.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on May 24, 2022