How Racism Is Making Us Ill

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Pub Date 6 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 6 Jun 2024

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A blistering, ground-breaking investigation into how racism corrodes science and medicine – leading to worse treatment for everyone.

'A work of towering importance that will undoubtedly change science and save lives, but it will also change the way you see yourself and the people around you' Chris van Tulleken, author of Ultra-Processed People

First, do no harm.
All doctors train under this ethos, but what happens when harm comes not from conscious actions, but unconscious bias?

Then, do the research.

  • People of Black or Asian ethnicity in England wait longer than white people for a cancer diagnosis
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are nearly four times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than non-Indigenous Australians
  • The majority of Black therapy patients in Germany have had their experience of racism dismissed by their mental health counsellor

In Systemic, science journalist Layal Liverpool unearths the shocking research and articulates the vital solutions to the potent health threat of racism in society, science and medicine. Across the world, in every country she has studied and in every area of medicine she has examined, people belonging to marginalised racial and ethnic groups disproportionately experience poor health outcomes – with people of colour often experiencing worse health compared with white people.

Systemic uncovers the insidious impact of systemic racism on our health – and provides a framework for a way forwards:
From cardiovascular disease to viruses, cancer to mental illness, Liverpool delves into the reasons racial health disparities exist and reveals that diseases are not ‘great equalisers’ – not when you live in an unequal society. She shows how the widespread adoption of anti-racist medical standards and societal policies will be central in creating a healthier world for everyone.

A blistering, ground-breaking investigation into how racism corrodes science and medicine – leading to worse treatment for everyone.

'A work of towering importance that will undoubtedly change...

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ISBN 9781526652157
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Average rating from 3 members

Featured Reviews

Systemic is a nonfiction book by Layal Liverpool on Systemic racism and how racism in healthcare impacts black people and ethnic minorities. I would recommend this for readers of Under the Skin by Linda Villarosa and Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington. Systemic is very up to date with statistics and information on COVID-19 and how racism impacted the pandemic. Liverpool has clearly done their research because this had real life perspectives of how people have been impacted by systematic racism and it even had celebrity examples like Serena Williams. If you are interested in this topic I think this is a great place to start. I am giving this 4 stars and the only reason it is not a 5 is because it wasn’t the most engaging but that’s my own personal issue. I definitely recommend this book and it is an important read.

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Having read Medical apartheid I was naturally drawn to Systemic by Layal Liverpool. Once again I was somewhat shocked by her challenging evidence which only served to highlight the systemic racism that still exists in diagnosis and medical treatment between races. I found the book accessible and easy to manage for the lay reader as well as those trained in the profession.

The continual stereotypical approach when dealing with black people and people of colour during COVID was particularly enlightening. For me it put a lot of doubts and questions into perspective. Liverpool does a great job in addressing this up to date event that shook the nation by demonstrating just how POC were treated as if their socio-economic situations played no part. For that I thank her.

The stories of those around the world proved also interesting and some of the cases resonated with me and I suspect this will be the case for many once the book is published.
Maybe some day the healthcare will be truly equal without prejudice.

Thank you NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this- highly recommend

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This book discussed the racial and ethnic health disparities in different countries. It looked at the link between racism and health harms,both systemic and interpersonal forms. Saying they both exist within medicine and health care.
I really liked the way the book discussed the research and gave people's relatable lived experiences throughout. It certainly made me think more deeply of my own experience with health care.

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