Washington, D.C., June 2, 2020
As second-year medical students at Howard, we are required to take pathology. In pathology, we have two parts: gross pathology and microscopic pathology, where we are looking at the changes in different organs at the cellular level.
As we face the viral pandemic of COVID-19, which has affected everyone worldwide, we must not forget the pandemic that has been present for the last 400 years. That is the gross pathologic cancer of racism that has metastasized to all persons of color but mainly has targeted Black Americans.
This racism manifests itself in us being questioned on our ability to adequately care for our patients, the lack of the expansion of Medicaid that puts the health of our people at risk, and the cost of medications that Black Americans cannot afford.
The events of this past week have caused an indelible image that we, as Black Americans, cannot and should not forget.
Although we are not attorneys and we will not prosecute the officers who murdered George Floyd, we have to 'prosecute' the injustices we observe in healthcare. We have an obligation to advocate for our patients with vigor and urgency that we previously did not think was possible.
ames Baldwin has a famous quote from
The Negro in American Culture:
To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time. So that the first problem is how to control that rage so that it won’t destroy you.”
To my fellow HUMAA alumni and future physicians from the College of Medicine, we are in a rage because of what has happened during this pandemic and this past week, specifically; however, we will not be destroyed. We will persevere because we are bright, well-trained, and committed to providing the best healthcare to our patients.
Let the events of this year, and especially this week, be an inflection point to recommit ourselves as to why we entered the field of medicine. We have been the best for the last 150 years and will continue to be the best for many years to come.
We are BISON STRONG!