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Diversifizierende medizinische Illustrationen für farbige Haut

von NFI Redaktion

When most people think about the field of medicine, art and drawings may not immediately come to mind. However, the field of medical illustration (which now includes digital media and animations) is a thriving and necessary part to help both medical students and doctors understand the human body.

Medical illustrations help students become familiar with the appearance of certain diseases, and can assist doctors in understanding how to diagnose them. Unfortunately, a lack of diversity in these illustrations has led to a shortage of images depicting colored skin tones. Several recent studies have shown that black skin is depicted much less frequently (around 4%) in textbooks compared to lighter skin tones.

A recent viral social media post by Nigerian medical student Chidiebere Ibe featured an illustration of a pregnant woman of color with a black fetus, sparking a larger discussion on the lack of diversity in medical texts. This highlighted the importance of including images that represent patients with different skin tones to ensure accurate diagnoses and better patient care.

Dr. Susan Taylor, Deputy Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Pennsylvania’s Dermatology Department, emphasizes the importance of medical resources that include and treat patients with different skin tones, including darker skin.

Efforts are being made to address this issue within the field of medical illustration, with organizations like the Association of Medical Illustrators working to promote diversity and representation in illustrations. By showcasing a variety of body shapes, sizes, and skin colors, the aim is to eliminate existing inequalities in medical illustrations.

Illustrators, publishers, and medical companies are actively seeking ways to address this issue and improve training and diagnosis practices. Understanding how certain diseases manifest on different skin tones can lead to earlier diagnoses and ultimately save lives.

It is crucial for medical students to see diversity reflected in their textbooks to develop empathy and avoid stereotypes. Patients of all skin tones deserve to feel seen and understood in medical settings.

By recognizing and addressing the differences in how diseases appear on various skin tones, misinformation and myths can be dispelled. Everyone, regardless of skin color, should prioritize daily sunscreen use and be aware of warning signs of skin cancer.

Medical illustrators play a vital role in promoting health and diversity should be a key focus in their training. Recognizing and addressing systemic racism in the medical field is essential, and efforts to increase diversity must be intentional and proactive.

By educating doctors and medical students on how diseases present on darker skin tones, earlier diagnoses can be made, potentially saving lives.

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