As a child of the early 1980s, growing up in Baltimore, I would often stare at the speckled ceiling of the room my siblings and I shared and wondered why my family had to deal with basic struggles like obtaining food and keeping the heat on, at times warming the house with the oven. During my teenage years, I often questioned why people who grew up in urban America had similar problems, while these issues seemed nonexistent in more affluent areas. When I became an adult interested in pursuing medicine, I volunteered at several health fairs and realized quickly that many of the patients were from communities similar to mine; not infrequently, people I met had not received medical care in years, sometimes decades. These experiences, and others like them, revealed that the issues I would wonder about while staring at the ceiling were only a small portion of the concerns that communities like mine face daily.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Vince RA. Eradicating Racial Injustice in Medicine—If Not Now, When? JAMA. 2020;324(5):451–452. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12432
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: