Wild Talk: Melanin & Medicine, with Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo
In this podcast episode, we dive into the rich life experiences of Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo, a leading advocate for Black women physicians and a healer of healers.
“That is the threat that we have in the many places that we work — the threat that if you’re too visible, if you demand too much, you will be removed, you will be restricted and you will be retaliated against. And it hurts my heart and it just every time we see it and it’s just trauma, trauma, trauma, trauma. And a lot of times, we don’t have places to go, and the healer doesn’t have places to heal.” — Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo
While Black Americans comprise 13% of the U.S. population, they make up only 4% of the physician workforce. Black women account for just 2% of physicians. The weight of being a minority in such a high-pressure environment can be overwhelming for many reasons, especially as racial disparities continue to impact Black women both in the workforce and as patients.
As a pediatrician working in nine countries, Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo devoted her career to addressing inequities in global public health. Facing burnout and her own personal diagnosis with an autoimmune disorder, Dr. Uwemedimo reinvented her career and founded the organizations Melanin and Medicine, to empower Black women physicians, and the Coalition to Advance Antiracism in Medicine. In this episode of Wild Talk: Melanin and Medicine, Emily Kagan-Trenchard and I sit with Dr. Uwemedimo on her dock in Long Island overlooking the canal between Baldwin and Oceanside.
As gulls and geese sound their cry, Dr. Uwemedimo unpacks the unspoken, emotionally taxing stressors facing black women physicians and patients of color, and how she decided to create a safe space to be heard. We hope you will tune into this most inspiring episode. How can medicine, and society at-large, show up as accomplices in dismantling structural racism? How can we actively do the work, together?