Black Doctors Say Pandemic Reveals Enduring Racial Inequity Medicine Alone Cannot Fix


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dr. William Strudwick was finishing a shift at Washington, D.C.'s Howard University Hospital when his wife, Maria, texted. Their 19-year old son, Cole, wanted to join a protest five days afterthe killing of George Floyd.

It was 9 p.m. After dark, Strudwick weighed, he couldn't predict how protesters would act — or how police would treat his son. He wrote back one word to his wife: "No."

"When I came home, he was not there, and so I called him," Strudwick said. "And we had the conversation about him returning immediately."

To Strudwick's relief, the teen came home.

About one in six doctors in D.C. is African American, like Dr. Strudwick, according to the city's Department of Health. That's three times the national average, although still a small portion compared to the population that's 46% Black.

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