A Nigerian Student's Striking Pictures Illustrate Lessons We All Must Learn
By Mike Gladstone
In December 2021, a story went viral for illustrating a simple truth: Medical education materials overwhelmingly focus on white skin. A Nigerian medical illustrator and aspiring neurosurgeon named Chidiebere Ibe shared his own renderings of medical illustrations featuring subjects with Black skin. The images themselves are beautiful, and they reveal a systemic failure: We are not used to seeing Black skin in pictures of this kind. And that is wrong.
This is such a profound, obvious fact, and we should not have had to rely on this thoughtful student’s work to lead us to it. Academia and industry must transform how we see skin — and how the medical field represents diverse identities.
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