Medical diagram of a Black fetus in mother's womb is being praised online
A medical diagram of a Black fetus in a mother’s womb is being praised online for bringing diversity to the medical sphere.
Chidiebere Ibe, an aspiring neurosurgeon from Nigeria and avid illustrator, says he is deeply humbled that his unique medical diagrams, which feature patients with Black and non-white skin tones, have resonated with so many people online.
“A lot of people called and were actually crying. I feel very emotional,” he told CTV News in a video interview on Wednesday. “People saw themselves and were able to see their skin.”
Ibe, who’s resuming his medical school studies in Ukraine next month, says he’s rarely seen non-white people featured in textbooks and medical workups.
So he says he wants to bridge that gap with his art.
Ibe hopes his efforts go far towards getting more meaningful representation in the sciences and that his illustrations will help medical professionals more accurately identify skin conditions.
His art has recently reached a wide audience and many are thanking Ibe for showing them something they “didn’t even know what [they] were missing.”
“I never expected that it would go that wide and that people would pour out themselves in my comments,” Ibe said. “I feel so blessed.”
He says disproportionate negative health outcomes for Black and other patients of colour, racism towards medical professionals and patients, and unequal access to affordable health care are all systemic problems which need immediate fixing across the world.
In the future, Ibe said he’d like to work with children and eventually create his own compendium of drawings of darker-skinned patients and give it to clinics and medical schools.
To see more from Ibe, check out the video above.