UK (St George’s University of London) St George’s alumna, Dr Khadija Owusu, delivers inspiring Ted Talk
About Dr Khadjia Owusu
Dr Owusu, a Junior Doctor, is a Founding Member and the Director of Programmes at Melanin Medics, the UK’s largest intergenerational charity for African and Caribbean medical students and doctors. She was selected as a Princess Diana Award Recipient, was listed 5th on the top UK Black Students list last year, and was awarded the Women in STEM Award by HRH Princess Anne.
During her time as a student, Dr Owusu collaborated with staff and fellow Medicine student, Dr Lucrece Wasolua-Kibeti, to launch the Black and Beyond campaign. The campaign aims to increase representation of our Black staff and students at St Georges, and recognise the importance of role models from Black backgrounds.
The experiences that led to medicine
Dr Owusu shared how her brother’s sickle cell disease formed part of the reason why she pursued medicine, explaining the harsh reality of the unfair treatment of some Black patients. This puts patients from Black and ethnic minorities at more risk than their white counterparts; Black patients are four times more likely to die during childbirth, or from Covid-19.
Dr Owusu also talked about how her experience as a scholarship student first inspired her to take action to promote diversity and break down socioeconomic barriers in medicine:
“I wanted to remove some of the challenges and barriers in place so that Black students may experience as they progress through their careers.”
– Dr Khadija Owusu –
“I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, “You cannot be what you don’t see.” You can probably count on one or two hands the number of Black students in a cohort of 300 medical students.”
Speaking about representation in the NHS, she added:
“The lack of diversity at the top means that there’s a lack of shared, lived experience.
“They say you should be the change you want to see in the world. I wanted to work towards creating an equitable healthcare system for all, so that the needs of those in our community are well-met.”
– Dr Khadija Owusu –
Dr Owusu and colleagues from Melanin Medics have been facilitating Advocacy and Allyship training for students at St George’s since 2020 as part of our ongoing commitment to anti-racism at our institute.