Medical Technology

Students’ Medical Illustrations with Black People Go Viral

A medical student has received huge support online for including Black people in medical illustrations used in textbooks.

Chidiebere, who is a Nigerian-born aspiring neurosurgeon, said that he observed in medical school that textbooks mostly depicted white patients with their skin. He began drawing pictures of Black people, and illustrating others became a passion of his.

“People are telling me how much they are desired and needed,” Ibe told NBC Washington.

Ibe has more 119,000 Instagram followers. He posts photos. The most liked post, which features pregnant Black woman and her baby in her womb, has received more than 88,000 likes. This post has been viewed, liked and shared thousands of times on Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn.

“I have never seen a black [fetus] illustration, ever.” This is amazing,” Aliyah, a London-based Twitter user, wrote in a post.

Ibe said this week to media outlets that he hopes the images will inspire Black medical students, and encourage dialogue.

“The entire point was to continue to talk about the things I’m passionate about — equality in health care — and also to showcase the beauty of Black people,” he told HuffPost UK.

People have been responding positively to this week’s social media posts, saying that they would be encouraged to pursue medical studies when they see textbooks that feature Black people. Others reached out and asked to include illustrations in medical settings as well as educational presentations to show better representation.

“Serious question, how many times have you seen anatomy photos with Black women and Black babies in the womb? “At the doctor’s office, in medical books or in other places.” Black Women’s Health Imperative, a nonprofit focused on the health and wellbeing of Black women and girls, wrote in a Twitter post in which Ibe’s work was discussed.

“This image isn’t only beautiful but it’s POWERFUL,” the group wrote. “MORE of this please.”


NBC Washington: “Student’s Medical Illustrations showing Black Persons Go viral”

Instagram: @ebereillustrate, Nov. 24, 2021.

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