Medical Racism is prejudice and discrimination in medicine and the medical or healthcare system based upon perceived race.
Disabled people of colour face unique forms of discrimination and challenges. This is why we need our voice heard.
Due to the racial biases when doctors are treating a patient for pain, BIPOC are less likely to have access to adequate medication and treatment for pain
Medical research is based almost entirely on white male bodies. Due to this, when conditions present differently in BIPOC, they often go undiagnosed and untreated.
For example, medical guides on how to diagnose melanoma (skin cancer) are often focused on only it’s presentation on white skin. While BIPOC patients are at a lower risk of getting melanoma, if they do get it they are much more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage and have a worse prognosis.
Skin conditions in particular often present differently on black and brown skin than on white skin. Since most medical guides show these conditions on white skin, medical professionals often fail to identify and treat skin conditions on people of colour.
Because of this, Ellen Buchanan Weiss started Brown Skin Matters in 2018, which is a project to collect a database of images of skin conditions on non-white skin.
Most people are not even aware that medical racism exists, or what it is. While most disabled people are all too familiar with being dismissed and unheard by medical professionals, this is often even worse for disabled people of colour.
This is why the voices of disabled BIPOC need to be heard. The disability community often centers around disabled white people’s experiences, and so it important for the community to hear from our experiences of medical racism.
@amplifybipocdisabledvoices on Instagram is an account founded by Iman @alilbitofaith which, as the name suggests, aims to amplify BIPOC disabled voices. We want to share our experiences, and give a voice to others in the community who also wish to share their experiences.
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2. Skin Cancer Facts and Statistics: What you need to know | Skin Cancer Foundation [https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts]
3. Skin Cancer Concerns in People of Color: Risk Factors and Prevention | Alpana K Gupta, Mausumi Bharadwaj, and Ravi Mehrotra | National Library of Medicine | Pubmed Central [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454668/]
4. Racial bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations, and false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites. | Hoffman KM, Trawalter S, Axt JR, Oliver MN | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4843483/