October 30, 2020, by School of Medicine
50 at 50: Celebrating Diversity
With Black History Month upon us we realize the importance of our shared culture and dedicate time to celebrate the amazing and diverse community in which we live in.
We celebrate passionate and driven medical students such as Malone Mukwende. A medical student at St George’s, University of London who in only his second year of the degree, unsatisfied with the lack of resources detailing the effects of illnesses on black and brown skin, wrote Mind The Gap. As the British Medical Journal explains, it is a “handbook of clinical signs in black and brown skin. Its aim is to teach medical students and other health professionals about the importance of recognising how some conditions can present differently in darker skins.”
We celebrate the diversity in the NHS which sees 20.7% of the 1.2 million NHS staff being from ethnic minorities compared to the UK’s 12.8%. Black people make up 6.1% of the NHS staff while only representing 3.0% of the country. The percentage of black medical staff in the NHS is 4.6% showing a great contribution to our country’s healthcare system.
We celebrate the contribution of black medics throughout history, namely one John Alcindor. He studied medicine at University of Edinburgh Medical School and became the first black doctor. He started his own practice in 1913 and was recognised by his community as the ‘black doctor of Paddington.’ He served his country during the war by volunteering for the British Red Cross where he was awarded the Red Cross Medal for his works.
This month it’s important to highlight the various contributions black people have made throughout history. Do take some time during your day to find out something new about black history, or think of how you could contribute to our history in a new and different way.
By Titobiloluwa Coker, 2nd year medic