Prior to university, I had attended schools with very significant numbers of Black people. At the very least the numbers of Black students had made up at least 30% of the whole cohort. You can imagine my surprise when I first stepped into the lecture theatre at medical school and I first noticed the lack of Black faces. Attending university in London, a very diverse city, led me to have a disillusioned expectation that medical school would be similar to my previous experiences but that has not been the case.
Before university, race and racism was something I was obviously aware of but it was not at the forefront of my mind. Experiencing this change in environment contributed to my naivety about some racial issues being rapidly dissolved. Sometimes I’m not too sure if it’s related to being in medical school specifically, or just generally growing up, but I am definitely a lot more aware of the issues that are affecting Black women in today’s society. The saying that ignorance is bliss is very valid sometimes - I feel that there has been a big burden and feeling of exhaustion associated with being aware of racism and the negative experiences Black women face. In this blog post, I aim to share some of my thoughts on the points that Bimpe has raised on this topic.
The Need for Black Women But Also A Lack Of Acknowledgement
From the statistics we already know that there is underrepresentation of Black people in medicine. It is obvious that there is a need for more Black women in healthcare, especially with the appalling statistics regarding maternal mortality. Unfortunately, there are simply not enough Black medical students or Black doctors to even begin to improve the experiences of Black women in the healthcare system.