Contemporary OB/GYN Senior Editor Angie DeRosa interviews Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist Dr. Washington Hill to get his perspective on what practicing ob/gyns can do to address implicit bias and racism in the health care system.
Washington Hill, MD, is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist with CenterPlace Health and Sarasota Memorial Hospital and has been an ob/gyn for 55 years, almost 30 in Sarasota, Fla., within the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.
In this video, Contemporary OB/GYN’s Senior Editor Angie DeRosa interviews Dr. Hill to get his perspective on what practicing ob/gyns can do to address implicit bias and racism in the health care system.
“I think that you have an obligation,” he says during this interview. “Let me give you an example. A friend called. She was at the University of Maryland as an ob/gyn. She called me and said, ‘You know, I’m thinking about leaving the University of Maryland.’ She is from Ethiopia. It’s in Baltimore. Seventy-five percent of their patients are African American. They have no African American faculty and they have no African American residents.
“And she said, ‘They just don’t get it.’ And I said, ‘You’re right, and your job is to help them get it. What are they going to do to you? They can’t fire you. They’re going to feel uncomfortable.’
“The conversations are going to be uncomfortable,” he said. “But you should use every opportunity you have to speak up and say, ‘You know, seventy-five percent of our patients are African American and we don’t have an African American resident. You mean to tell me we can’t find one African American resident to accept the program? That is like saying all of them are male and we can’t find a female. That used to be the case. Now it’s the opposite.
Ob/gyns need to look at every opportunity they have to make sure that diversity and inclusion is a part of what they are doing, whether it’s care, whether it’s studies, whether it’s residencies, whether it’s medical education, whatever. Because if they don’t do it, if the African Americans and those whites who are sensitive to the issue don’t do it, it is not going to be done.”
Hear all of the interview with Dr. Hill and read more in his commentary, “Ensuring racial justice and health equity in ob/gyn,” in the August print issue of Contemporary OB/GYN.