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.
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Vince RA. Eradicating Racial Injustice in Medicine—If Not Now, When? JAMA. 2020;324(5):451–452. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12432
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