Racism and Medicine 101 has been very important class for me this semester. Having been raised in a place where my classmates all had similar upbringings and backgrounds, in the suburbs of Buffalo, this class was very enlightening. I remember coming to this class in the beginning of the semester and questioning if there was any correlation between race and medicine, but now it is inevitable that I relate one to the other. Using concrete evidence, through Harriet Washington’s Medical Apartheid, and more abstract texts, like Percival Everett’s Zulus, I learned about Racism in Medicine and furthered my knowledge substancially.
Not only did this class my expand knowledge, it also allowed me to improve my ability to work with others. As a shy introvert, I often have difficulties participating. This class forced me to participate and work in groups. Although I still don’t speak up as much as my peers, I have made improvement with regards to expressing my ideas. In addition, the students in the class have been nothing but encouraging and eager to learn. Initially I was worried that many of my ideas “weren’t good” or people would judge me if I would say something disagreeable. In reality, everyone was open to new ideas and anything to further their knowledge. Despite the content of the class being a dose of reality, everyone in the class has given me hope that there is still good in the world.
In addition to making me more comfortable speaking with others, this course has influenced my writing. I definitely have noticed my writing has not only improved, but I have started to take chances. In other words, I am not worried about other people when I write, I am more focused on writing something that I am proud of and conveying a message. Although I have a lot of room for improvement, I have grown exceedingly more comfortable with the semi-formal blog post format. My progress is evident by comparing my recent posts to my earlier posts. Reading my old blog posts, I can feel the discomfort and stiffness in every word. Once I stopped worrying about others, I was able to have fun with my posts and produce better content. For the past few weeks, I have been enjoying reading my peer’s posts and writing my own posts.
One of the most important qualities that this class has helped me develop, is curiosity. As students, we all have a part of us that desires to learn more. I think this class has caused that to desire to magnify. Although in my high-school, we broadly covered certain aspects of racism, this class not only furthered my general knowledge, but dug much deeper. There were many new ideas that this class has introduced me to and although it is hard to face sometimes, I desire to continue educating myself on this subject. I have learned more about racism and medicine in one semester, than I have my whole entire life. I am beyond thankful for this class for sparking this desire. The content in this class, my peers, and the assignments in this class have all been extremely eye-opening. This course has allowed me to progress in a plethora of ways.