The creator of a viral Black fetus medical illustration blends art and activism

Individual Author(s) / Organizational Author
Limm, David
January 2022
Abstract / Description

As an aspiring medical illustrator, Chidiebere Ibe noticed the absence as soon as he began to learn the craft. Why aren’t there more images of Black skin in medical illustration? 

In a healthcare system beset with racial inequities, the relative scarcity of dark skin tones in medical textbooks is no exception. Driven to correct this imbalance, the Nigerian-born would-be neurosurgeon started teaching himself to illustrate, using Black skin to depict various medical conditions and procedures.   

One-and-a-half years and one viral illustration later, Ibe is now a student at Kyiv Medical University in Ukraine, a budding illustrator, and an advocate for racial health justice. Over the past few weeks, his image of a Black pregnant person and fetus struck an instant chord on social media. For many, the picture was a reminder that racial bias can permeate every level of healthcare and medical training. (author introduction)

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