Art At Noon

Chidiebere Ibe: Tackling Misrepresentation in Medicine

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General Public
Lori Waselchuk
Medical illustration of Black pregnant person and Black fetus

Racial inequities are chronic in healthcare. Chidiebere Ibe, a self-taught medical illustrator, is challenging healthcare systems to move beyond talking about inclusion and act to address racial inequities. His famous illustration of a Black pregnant person with a Black fetus went viral in 2021, provoking an international conversation about representation in medical textbooks and public health resources. Ibe believes that the lack of racially diverse teaching tools produces biases in the medical community, which inevitably impacts health outcomes. To correct this imbalance, Ibe centers Black people, and more specifically Africans, as subjects in his work. Chidiebere will talk about his illustrations in conversation with Dr. Horace DeLisser, the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania.  

Chidiebere Ibe is a Nigerian medical illustrator. Having lost his mother to surgery for fibroids, he became passionate about medicine, especially as it relates to women and children. Chidiebere is a self-taught illustrator who learned his craft by reading anatomy textbooks and watching online videos online. Chidiebere holds a BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and is an aspiring pediatric neurosurgeon. He is a TEDx speaker whose impact and works have been featured in Forbes, CNN, BBC, Good Morning America, WebMD, Huffington Post, etc. He currently serves as the Medical Illustrator of Harvard Medical School International Center for Genetic Disease, the Chief Medical illustrator & Creative Director of the Journal of Global Neurosurgery, Research Fellow and Creative Director of Association of Future African Neurosurgeons (AFAN), and a Junior Member of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. 

Dr. Horace DeLisser is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division of the Department of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. DeLisser has had longstanding interests in physician professionalism, doctor-patient communication, medical ethics, end-of-life issues, cultural competency and religion and spirituality in medicine. He is currently the Associate for Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he leads IDEAL MEd (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Learner Experience Program in Medical Education). In this role he has implemented innovative approaches for promoting a diverse and inclusive medical student community. He has also been very active in medical education at Perelman, particularly with respect to the professionalism and humanism module of the medical student curriculum. In this role he has led curricular innovations in the teaching of social medicine, medical humanities and spirituality and health, and in promoting medical student wellness and self-care. 

Art At Noon lectures are supported by the Behrend Family in memory of Rose Susan Hirschorn Behrend, a former docent at the Academy and great supporter of its education program. 

Image: Chidiebere Ibe, Black Fetus, 2021.