Chidiebere Ibe is a Nigerian medical illustrator and a first year medical student disrupting the status quo by “portraying anatomy, physiology and pathology on Black skin.”
Ibe’s recent illustration of a pregnant Black woman with a baby in utero has taken the internet by storm as many recognize it as the first time seeing a photo of Black women depicted in this form.
In a statement on Ibe’s GoFundMe page, where he is raising funds for medical school, he cites that “recent research on health inequities has found that Black students are more engaged with illustrations that portray their skin color.” And although there is a shortage of adequate representation in this field, Ibe is here to change this. His Instagram page is inundated with illustrations of Black people with various medical conditions and body parts explained in the same manner that you might expect to see in a textbook or medical journal.
“I started medical illustrations to promote the use of Black skin illustrations in our medical textbooks to depict a typical African person. Textbooks are essentially invincible to medical training. They walk medical trainees through conditions they will encounter during their practice. Yet, most medical illustrations are on the Caucasian skin. This lack of diversity has important implications for medical trainees and their future patients because many conditions and signs look different based on the patient’s skin colour and therefore the Black skin should be equally represented,” Ibe said on his GoFundMe page.
He hopes that his medical training will enhance his knowledge of physiology and anatomy in order to help him serve his community better.
To support Ibe and his efforts check out his GoFundMe page here.
And to learn how to license the now viral illustration of a Black pregnant woman, read the post here.