Drs. Ruth Shim & David Williams: Racial Inequities in Health and the Science Behind How We Solve Them | A Second Opinion Podcast

Drs. Ruth Shim & David Williams: Racial Inequities in Health and the Science Behind How We Solve Them

Our country is at a historic crossroads: the global coronavirus pandemic has laid bare our country’s racial disparities and inequities in health and healthcare, and the death of George Floyd and other events have sparked a national social justice movement. At A Second Opinion, we seek to better understand how race, structural racism, and implicit bias impact health and healthcare, which is why I’m honored today to have two global experts with us, Dr. Ruth Shim and Dr. David Williams. I know Dr. Shim from our working together as Trustees at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where vulnerable populations are at the center of everything we do. Dr. Williams and I worked together for two years on the landmark study that he led, the RWJF Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America. Both Dr. Shim and Dr. Williams are widely published on the intersection of race and health, and are true national resources on informing our current national discussion. I want to get to the episode, but first some background on our experts: • Dr. Ruth Shim is a practicing clinical psychiatrist who serves as the Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry and director of cultural psychiatry at the University of California, Davis. She is co-editor of the widely reference volume, The Social Determinants of Mental Health. • Dr. David Williams is the chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University. He is the author of more than 475 scientific papers and has been ranked as one of the top 10 Most Cited Social Scientists in the world. The Everyday Discrimination Scale was developed by Dr. Williams, and is the most widely used measure of discrimination in health studies today. On today’s episode, we explore what’s at the heart of implicit bias, how “racism makes us sick”, and learn what simple childhood interventions can impact health and socioeconomic status for years to come.