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A Piece of My Mind
May 24/31, 2016

Black Lives

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2016;315(20):2169-2170. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1689

One of my favorite patients is Mr Gardner (not his real name). He lives on the South Side of Chicago, in a region whose residents are predominantly African American, with high levels of violent crime and not a single level I trauma center for adults (though my hospital has proposed to build one soon). In our city, like many others, years of institutional discrimination—in housing, education, and criminal justice—have taken their toll. The distance between Mr Gardner’s neighborhood and my own is roughly 5 miles. In my neighborhood, the average life expectancy is 82 years; in his, it is a full decade less.

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