As an African American, female women’s health advocate and physician-scientist, I’ve found representation matters immensely in medicine. Diversity and inclusion in both practitioners and patients is important in advancing health equity through medicine and research. Communities seeing and being treated by doctors who look like them helps establish trust that their best interest will be protected and preserved, which is important in medical treatment.
Providers are regularly challenged to connect with individuals of all diverse backgrounds, and through sharing perspectives and exchanging life experiences and stories, both healthcare professionals and patients are wholly empowered to give and receive the best care. It is our duty as physicians to be good listeners and advocates for our patients, knowing that their diversity is a unique factor of their past medical history.