By Tamika C. Auguste, MD, FACOG
As a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist in the Washington, DC area, I attempt to honor Black health and wellness every day, not only during Black History Month. Each patient encounter is an opportunity to listen and provide equity in healthcare. In healthcare the voice of the Black woman needs to be heard. Take the time to listen, understand, educate, and ask questions. We all come from various backgrounds—there are differences—but the health of a person is what can unite us. We need to know and remember the history of the Black woman in medicine. That knowledge should shape how we listen, attempt to understand, educate, and inform our Black patients.
Our Black patients need our voices. Consider not only your patient encounters but every department, hospital, organization, or ACOG committee as an opportunity to speak on behalf of the Black patient. The acknowledgement of the history and how that has shaped all of their interactions with healthcare is our responsibility to act upon. If not us, health care providers of women, then who? Our voices and actions have to be intentional; this cannot and will not just happen. That is our responsibility during Black History month and every day.