Washington, D.C. — Ebony B. Carter, MD, MPH, FACOG, is joining the editorial leadership team of Obstetrics & Gynecology with the goal of ensuring that the journal’s processes and production are centered on principles of equity and inclusion. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which publishes Obstetrics & Gynecology (the Green Journal), announced Dr. Carter’s appointment today. The position of associate editor, equity has been created in line with ACOG’s commitment to changing the culture of medicine, eliminating racism and racial inequities that lead to disparate health outcomes, and promoting equity in women’s health and health care.
Dr. Carter, a tenured associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, practices maternal–fetal medicine and serves as chief of the division of clinical research in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. At Obstetrics & Gynecology, a leading journal in women’s health care, she will work collaboratively to develop and implement strategies to address racism and bias in all aspects of the publication’s development. Dr. Carter will take up the position on December 1, 2021.
“Racism, systematic oppression, and the marginalization of certain identities resulting in poor health outcomes are not a new reality. What is new is the mainstream public consciousness around it,” said Dr. Carter. “I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’m honored by the opportunity and challenge to help pave a more equitable path for research, researchers, and the patients we serve and to promote parity in reproductive health outcomes.”
She will work with Editor in Chief Jason D. Wright, MD, FACOG, and other editorial staff to facilitate peer review of manuscripts and content development. “If you only apply a racial equity lens to papers with ‘equity’ or ‘disparities’ in the title, that’s inequitable. It must be applied across all aspects of the journal,” she said. “The historical focus of the peer review process is, ‘Is this good science, yes or no?’ which is necessary but insufficient. We need to take this a step further to disaggregate data and ask more difficult and nuanced questions: Who’s going to benefit from this recommendation, who is missing from the conversation, what are the unanticipated consequences of this approach, and are there other ways to look at these data that benefit patients more broadly?”
Dr. Carter is the author of more than fifty papers and a frequent speaker on reproductive health equity, diabetes in pregnancy, and innovations in prenatal care. Her own research focuses on group prenatal care interventions as a tool to promote health equity. “The literature on health equity and disparities is often deficit driven,” she said. “Figuring out meaningful solutions is infinitely more difficult. We keep going back to patients to change their behavior, but they are not the problem. Meaningful change is going to take a multilevel, systems–based approach.”
Dr. Wright, editor in chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said, “Dr. Carter’s career exemplifies her commitment to advancing reproductive health equity. Her innovative research examines ways to confront racial inequities in medicine and science and improve outcomes across the board. The problem is complex and the solutions will not be quick or simple. The editorial leadership team of the Green Journal and our counterparts at ACOG look forward to Dr. Carter’s leadership in advancing and achieving inclusiveness in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.”