Medical Schools Usually Don ’t Teach How Conditions Look on Different Skin Tones. Malone Mukwende Is Trying to Change That

When Malone Mukwende, 21, started medical school in London, he identified a fundamental problem: almost all the images and data used in its teaching were based on studies of white patients. But medical symptoms can present very differently on Black and brown skin, leading to misdiagnosis, suffering and even death. Still a student, he has recently launched both a handbook, Mind the Gap, and Hutano, a new online platform intended to empower people with knowledge about their health. I asked him what he hoped to achieve and the wider lessons for all of us. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] AJ: For people who don’t know your work, would you explain Mind the Gap? MM: I got to medical school and noticed there was a gap in our teaching. If we learned about a particular type of rash or disease that manifests on skin, it would always have white skin as the reference. I would ask “what does this look like on other skin tones?” just for my own learning. Often people told me that they didn’t know. I decided that something needed to be done. Some members of staff at the university and I then started collating pictures and descriptions of different conditions on darker skin, and we compiled them all into a handbook that we called Mind the Gap. AJ: The gap isn’t just because there haven’t been studies on Black and brown skin. It’s because it wasn’t considered important, right? MM: Yes, that’s right. After the publication of Mi...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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