Every year during the month of February, the United States observes Black History Month. During this month, we look back at the accomplishments made by Black individuals and the impact they’ve made worldwide. While the medical world has made strides in diversifying its community, Black doctors still only represent 5% of doctors worldwide—2% of whom are women. To this end, it is critical to prominently share the stories of the Black female leaders in health care, their contributions to the field and the journeys to where they are today.

To commemorate Black History Month, we are listening back to the Charged episodes that share the stories and perspectives of Black women at Massachusetts General Hospital. We hope you enjoy these episodes!

About the Episodes:

Addressing Inequality & Racism in Health Care Today

In the United States, people of color have long experienced inequalities in health care. And, throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, these disparities in health care, and the systemic racism that prevents underserved and underrepresented communities from accessing equal care, have been brought to light even more. In this special episode, three previous Charged guests—Gaurdia Banister, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Allison Bryant, MD, MPH, and Marcela del Carmen, MD—discuss inequalities and racism in health care. 

T. Salewa Oseni, MD, Discipline and Diversity in Medicine

Dr. Oseni, breast surgical oncologist, knows that when a team caring for patients of all backgrounds does not also reflect the same inclusivity amongst its members, the quality of care suffers. Learn about her experience as a surgeon in the Navy, her work to change the face of medicine and how to eliminate health care disparities.

Camille Powe, MD, Personalizing Diabetes Care for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women have historically been excluded from clinical research due to an abundance of caution for the safety of them and their babies. But consequently, these women are often left out of medical advances. Dr. Powe, endocrinologist, is passionate about changing that. Learn about how Dr. Powe is working to better understand diabetes and pregnancy and her hope to develop more personalized treatments for these patients.

Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, Practicing Medicine as a Black Woman

As an obesity medicine specialist, Dr. Cody Stanford understands the implicit and explicit biases that her patients deal with daily. As a Black female doctor, she’s also familiar with the biases she faces each day. Hear about an experience that she will never forget while she was aboard a Delta flight when her credentials as a doctor were questioned when she was tending to another passenger.

Gaurdia Banister, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Why We Need More Diversity in Nursing

What does it look like when a place like Mass General sets out to increase diversity within the organization? Nursing leader Dr. Banister is a longtime champion for diversity in nursing and is leading efforts at Mass General to bring more people of color into the field. In this episode, she explains why she’s committed to this work and how it benefits the organization as a whole.

Allison Bryant, MD, MPH, Why Quality Care Means Equitable Care

Dr. Bryant is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and spends her days caring for women with high-risk pregnancies. She is also a strong advocate for improving not just safety and quality of care at Mass General, but also the equity of care. Dr. Bryant explains how we might go about improving equity in health care and why it’s important for us all to examine our own biases.

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