Light on the Untold Stories of Black Women in Medicine

Jasmine Brown
Jasmine Brown

Students at Perelman School of Medicine come from many different backgrounds and have different experiences that have brought them here. Jasmine Brown is the author of the recently published book “Twice as hard: the stories of black women who fought to become doctors, from the Civil War to the 21st century.twice as hard shines a light on the stories of black women in medicine whose stories are often overlooked.

Brown’s journey to this point began when she became fascinated with neuroscience in high school. “I was amazed at how the brain worked and how it played such a central role in our ability to live and experience the world around us. My passion for neuroscience spurred my interest in a medical career,” she said. While in college at the University of Washington, she explored this interest further, including volunteering and observing in clinical settings. “I felt fulfilled by my ability to use my passions for science and physiology to improve the lives of others.”

Also during her undergraduate years, Brown says she was the target of microaggressions that sometimes made her feel unwelcome in medical and scientific spaces. Brown’s personal experiences and the observations of other black students led her to want to study racism in science and medicine to better understand why it still happens.

When she was selected to receive a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, she was given the opportunity to pursue this goal. Brown realized that there wasn’t a lot of scholarly work focused on black female doctors. She decided to dedicate her time at Oxford to highlighting the experience of black women in medicine. Brown focused her master’s thesis on the social and structural barriers that have prevented black women from entering medicine in the United States. While pursuing her research, she visited the libraries of many prestigious medical schools.

During her research, she found a large book on black doctors that contained over 100 profiles. Less than five of the profiles were black women. She was inspired by the stories of black women who overcame so many obstacles and were able to have a great impact on medicine. Some of the women who inspired Brown were Edith Irby Jones, the first black student of any gender to enter a southern medical school, and Joycelyn Elders, who was the first black woman to serve as the States Surgeon General. -United.

Brown had never heard of any of these stories in school – and they inspired her to tell more such stories in a book. “I felt privileged to have had the opportunity to learn more about these women while I was at Oxford,” Brown explained. “I wanted young people facing their own barriers to be able to learn more about these black women and find hope in their stories. He wanted them to see that despite the obstacles they faced, they could still achieve their dreams and have an incredible impact on society.

Brown had two major goals for publishing this book. She wanted to shine a light on minority doctors whose stories are rarely taught in schools and give students from underrepresented backgrounds role models they can relate to. Second, she wanted to show the historical basis of social and structural barriers in medicine that persist today.

“I hope to provide academic institutions with specific ways to work to address this disparity of representation at the medical, residency, and faculty levels,” Brown said.

Brown sees several different ways to increase the representation of black women in medicine. One thing, which she helps to do through her book, is to reach out to underrepresented minorities who have made an impact and had successful careers in medicine. These people can serve as role models to motivate students to pursue their dreams despite some obstacles they may face. She also emphasizes the importance of connect students with mentors who they can relate to to help them with the challenges they may face. Finally, Brown believes that higher education institutions can work to create a safe place for students with marginalized identities. If these institutions help provide students with role models and mentors, they can help students from marginalized identities reach their full potential.

Brown hopes her book will help inspire minority students across the country to achieve goals in medicine. She also hopes the book will help raise awareness of the prejudice and discrimination that shaped the lives of the remarkable women she described and that still affect minority students across the country today.

In Tell your health storya Philadelphia plaintiff virtual event, Brown said “You can’t be what you can’t see.” As she continues to live her own story and works to start her own medical career, it is with the hope that this book will help shed light on the many black female doctors whose stories have gone untold for years.

Explore related stories:

Leave a Comment