Medical Racism And Its Impact On Health Outcomes
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Some recent events have prompted us to change focus slightly. In early February 2019, it was revealed that the Democratic Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam, a board-certified physician, had posted inflammatory racist content on his yearbook page from Eastern Virginia School of Medicine. It pictured a white person in “Blackface” standing next to a person in a Klu Klux Klan robe and hood.
Northam originally took responsibility for the photo but never revealed which person, the one in Blackface or the Klansman, was himself. The following day, he back-tracked, claiming not to know how that photo got on his yearbook page.
Since then, the scandals among Virginia’s highest state leadership escalated to a mind-boggling level: you literally cannot make this stuff up! But let’s not dive into the drama. Let’s stick with Governor Northam and the racist photos. There was no shortage of discussion, outrage, anxiety, and every other emotion. African-Americans, who supported him in large numbers, were outraged.
I think what bothered me most was something that was not being discussed. These photos were not from an Undergraduate yearbook, but a Medical School yearbook. We have also learned the Eastern Virginia Medical School routinely posted racist photos in their