A Black aspiring neurosurgeon is working to expand diversity in medicine –– beginning with the illustrations found in medical textbooks.
Chidiebere Ibe, a medical student at the Kyiv Medical University in Ukraine, shook up the internet after showing off his skills depicting a Black fetus in the womb of a Black pregnant person.
“I’m black and black is beautiful! Diversity in Medical Illustration More of this should be encouraged,” Ibe tweeted last month, posting a now-viral photo of his work.
Twitter reacted, astonished by Ibe’s drawing and that representation of this kind is scare particularly in textbooks and in medical settings.
“I’ve literally never seen a black [fetus] illustrated, ever,” one Twitter user, @Liyahsworld_xo tweeted over the weekend.
Being included in medical textbooks, drawn as human, is no small thing. Ibe’s work, as many Twitter users have echoed online, is helping to undo the impact of medical racism deeply embedded into the very notion of our humanity.
From Henrietta Lacks, to the Tuskegee study, to the current crisis of Black maternal mortality, medical racism has had a wide-reaching, generational impact on the healthcare Black people receive and experience.