Central PA Medicine Summer2020 - 15

daup h i n c m s .o rg

are not merely explained by poor access to we must listen to the Black voices in our
healthcare; rather, they point to a larger community that have so often been silenced.
system of structural discrimination in We must stand together as one to create
healthcare that asymmetrically impacts meaningful action and change. Silence
Black communities. On top of well-docu- and inaction have enabled the continued
mented structural health inequities, Black brutality and injustice against the Black
communities face the brunt of targeted community. We must hold our friends,
over-policing, lengthier sentencing, and families, and institutions accountable for the
We as medical students at the Penn State
police brutality. We cannot turn a blind eye racism and anti-Blackness that continually
College of Medicine are writing in solidarity
to the unjust realities that plague members persists. We must demand systemic change.
with our Black colleagues. As we continue
of our community, nor can we ignore the
Each and every one of us has a role to
to see blatant acts of racism in our society
physiologic and psychologic impact this play in creating a world that is safe from
that disproportionately affect our Black
daily chronic stress has on health outcomes. racism and anti-Black violence. We can all
family, friends, and neighbors, we share
Racism in the United States is a public take actions in our everyday lives, such as:
with you an adapted statement from the
health and human rights crisis that we
First Alaskans Institute:
1. Actively learn about the issues
cannot continue to ignore. It is our duty our communities are facing. Racism
"This country was built on stolen lands,
to actively challenge the ways in which is embedded deeply in our society and
on the backs of stolen people, and deeply
existing structures and policies create history, even if one has not experienced
entrenched racism has wrought devastation
and perpetuate disparities. The practice it personally. Suggested books, podcasts,
in our Black and Indigenous communities
of medicine, including current medical films, and articles can be found at bit.ly/
throughout the generations all the way up
knowledge and technology, has been built ANTIRACISMRESOURCES.3
until today. Racism, in all insidious forms,
on the exploitation and labor of Black indipervades our systems and society - and it
2. Give our attention to people of color
viduals. As recently as 1972, United States
quite literally kills. Black and Indigenous
and
prioritize listening to their stories.
research affiliates in the Tuskegee syphilis
peoples, in particular men, are disproProvide
support and respect as an ally, but
study deliberately withheld the diagnosis
portionately targeted and harmed by law
do
not
take
over the conversation.
and standard cure from unknowingly
enforcement. The harm and loss of our
infected Black men. This blatant example
3. Have difficult conversations with
precious, beautiful, deeply valuable men of exploitation is just one of many instances loved ones about race and the manifesour fathers, uncles, brothers and sons - is
that continually deepen the distrust black tation of our own implicit biases. These
and has been in a state of emergency for
and brown communities have with medicine conversations can be uncomfortable and
far too long."
as an institution.2 We can no longer silently humbling but serve as opportunities to
We would be remiss if we did not also stand by as members of our communities share knowledge and resources.
acknowledge that Black women and LGBT die from these injustices.
4. Consider donating to initiatives that
identifying members of the Black commuare
working to reduce racial inequities.
nity are particularly oppressed by healthcare
Some
examples include NAACP,4 Campaign
disparities, racism, police brutality, and
5
Zero, Black Lives Matter6 and Equal Justice
structural violence. The recent deaths of
Initiative.7
Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor remind
us that we must also recognize our beloved
5. Take a stand against racism. If we
community members who face these inwitness injustice, we have the power to
justices at the intersection of race, gender
intervene and we should use it. Rise above
identity, and sexual orientation.
discomfort. Through inaction, we are only
complicit.
As medical professionals, we are direct

Central
PA Medicine
Magazine:

Today,
we stand
together
and say:

witnesses to the health inequities that exist
within our communities. In the midst of
the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical
injustices experienced by Black community
members are laid bare by the sheer numbers.
Black individuals experience a three-fold
increase in infection rates and a six times
higher mortality rate compared to their
Caucasian counterparts.1 These numbers

We must stand in solidarity and support
our Black community members, who are
disproportionately impacted by racism, systemic oppression, and police brutality. The
realities of injustice are not new. Together,

It is our responsibility as future health
care providers to work every day toward
uprooting the racism that continues to
create massive inequities. We call upon
our community to come together to heal
these generational wounds with us. Not
only because it is the right thing to do, but

Continued on page 16

Central PA Medicine Summer 2020 15


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Central PA Medicine Summer2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Central PA Medicine Summer2020

Central PA Medicine Summer2020 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMWinter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMFall19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMSummer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMSpring19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMWinter19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMFall18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMSpring18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CPMWinter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CentralPAMedicine_Summer17
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CentralPAMedicine_Spring17
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/CPAMed/CentralPAMedicine_Feb2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com