Black Health and Wellness
The following experts have participated in the Black Health Educator's Committee in some capacity and have given permission for their names to be published. We are grateful for the expertise and guidance of all the committee members.
Dr. Delia Douglas, Co-Chair, University of Manitoba
Please read the statement from the Co-Chairs of the Black Health Educator's Committee below.
Re-imagining Medical Education for a more Just and Equitable Society
Anti-Black racism exists in academic medicine. In addition to being underrepresented in medicine, Black medical learners and Black health educators experience systemic racism and injustice1,2,3,4,5,6. Anti-Black Racism is defined “as policies and practices rooted in Canadian institutions such as, education, health care, and justice that mirror and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination towards people of Black-African descent” .7
As the largest annual gathering of medical educators in Canada, the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME) is institutionally accountable for establishing and maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and equitable space for the medical education community to meet and share their knowledge and experiences, with the goal of developing and disseminating best practices. In our work towards racial equity in health care and the learning environment, it is imperative that we re-imagine medical education to better respond to the needs of the many populations we serve.
In January 2021, Dr. Onye Nnorom, in anticipation of her plenary session for CCME 2021 “Black Lives, (In)Justice & Health: A Reckoning, Revolution, or Renaissance in Medicine?” raised concern that her talk was to be given with no concrete plans to continue the conversation, or create a space where learners and faculty could present their work in this area at future conferences. She high-lighted that there needed to be evidence of concrete structural change to dismantle anti-Black racism at CCME.
To advance our commitment to supporting excellence and success, based on recommendations from Dr. Nnorom and consultations she conducted with the Black Medical Students’ Association of Canada and faculty across the country, CCME formed the Black Advisory Sub-Committee to provide guidance and inform the CCME Scientific Program from an anti-racism, racial equity, social justice and belonging perspective. In addition, spurred by the Sub-Committee, CCME introduced the "Anti-Black racism in Medical Education" track to the 2022 conference program, inviting abstract submissions that address Black learners, Black medical educators, Black health, racial equity in health care and related research that is being done to address Anti-Black racism in medical education (curricular and noncurricular). Throughout CCME 2022, taking place between April 23-26 in a hybrid format, the Anti-Black racism in medical education track will feature workshops, oral, and poster presentations on related topics. Please join us.
“In the spirit of the United Nations’ declaration of the decade (2015-2024) being recognized as the International Decade for Peoples of African Descent, we are honored to have this platform to address what can no longer be denied; systemic anti-Black racism exists in Canada, within our institutions and systems of health, education, and care. We regard this moment as one of profound challenges and profound opportunity in working towards establishing more just and equitable futures for all.” - Dr. Kannin Osei-Tutu and Dr. Delia Douglas, Co-Chairs CCME 2022.
1. Mpalirwa J, Lofters A, Nnorom O, Hanson MD. Patients, Pride, and Prejudice: Exploring Black Ontarian Physicians' Experiences of Racism and Discrimination. Acad Med. 2020 Nov;95(11S Association of American Medical Colleges Learn Serve Lead: Proceedings of the 59th Annual Research in Medical Education Presentations):S51-S57. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003648. PMID: 32769450.
2. Khan. R, Apramian. T, Kang JH, Gustafson. J, & Sibbald, S. (2020). Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Canadian medical students: a cross-sectional study. BMC Med Educ, 20(1):151. doi:10.1186/s12909-020-02056-x
3. Dryden O, Nnorom O. Time to dismantle systemic anti-Black racism in medicine in Canada. CMAJ Jan 2021,193(2) E55-E57; DOI 10.1503/cmaj.201579
4. Osei-Yeboh C. (2020). How Queen’s School of Medicine barred Black students for 40 years. INKspire. Available at: https://inkspire.org/post/how-queens-school-of-medicine-barred-black-students-for-40-years/-M2ix2zV7yw8Y-V--XUQ
5. Young, M. E., Razack. S, Hanson, M. D., et al. Calling for a broader conceptualization of diversity: Surface and deep diversity in four Canadian medical schools. Acad Med. 2012;87(11):1501-1510. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e31826daf74
6. Razack, S. B. (2019). The Equity, Diversity, and Gender (EDG) Network: Seeking Greater Inclusion within Medical Education in Canada.
7. Benjamin, A. Cited in Black Health Alliance, https://blackhealthalliance.ca/home/antiblack-racism/ accessed December 2021