PHRI Senior Scientist Sonia Anand joined Ellen Amster, of the McMaster University Departments of Family Medicine and Religious Studies, in the Nov. 24th online workshop, titled Racism and Colonialism in the History of Medicine and Public Health.

From the controversies around J. Marion Sims, to the case of Joyce Echaquan in Quebec, to #blackintheivory [social media conversations about academia], the workshop covered how how racism is present in medicine, today and in the past, in the structures of health care, population health, physicians’ careers, and research methods.

As a historian, Ellen Amster covered much Canadian history on how blacks, Indigeneous people and other people of colour have experienced the medical system then and now.

Sonia Anand, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethnic Diversity in Cardiovascular Disease and is Associate Chair, Equity and Diversity in McMaster’s Department of Medicine, noted that “we need community engagement,” adding “‘nothing about us without us’ is a great principle to follow” regarding the vital inclusion of populations in research about their own health.

“Yes it takes more time and money, but it’s crucial,” she said. “Otherwise, it will continue to be a colonial system of ‘we know best; just sign here on the consent form.'”

Sonia’s talk begins 52:15 minutes into the 1.5 hour recording of the workshop.

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