The ARD is only possible because of the commitment of its subscribers and readers. Everyday people committed to transforming themselves and the society around them are our best hope for the future. One such reader is Dr. Linda Grace Solis, who was gracious enough to share her thoughts about The ARD. We have condensed this interview for clarity and length.
Q: How did you find The ARD?
I’m on the faculty of a medical school. I’ve been involved in medical education for over a decade and have a Ph.D. in leadership studies, specifically looking at inclusive leadership. Because I’m a white woman, I don’t have the lived experience that many of my students and colleagues have, so I do a lot of researching, reading, and listening to podcasts. That’s how I found the ARD. I’m currently a subscriber and a big fan.
Q: What are some equity issues in medical education that you’re working on?
Access to medical school is a huge issue of inequity. Since the 1970s, the number of Black men in American medical schools has decreased. We need to diversify our pool of physicians, knowing from research that concordance between physician and patient race is a positive thing for patient outcomes. The myth that people with darker skin have thicker skin and don’t need as much painkillers? It still shows up in medical textbooks used in the U.S. today.
Q: What do you find useful about The ARD?
It’s so useful. I look forward to it because I learn something literally every day from the newsletter. I’m a white woman, a born-and-bred Midwesterner—no one has ever looked askance at me or thought less of me because of how I spoke. It’s something I honestly never considered until I read the piece on African American Vernacular English. My dad was in the Korean conflict, and I learned from a recent newsletter about the conflict, its relationship to the Cold War, and its ongoing effects today.
Q: Have you been able to use The ARD to advance equity work in your communities?
Time and time again, I print out the newsletter and take it to my mom, who’s 92 years old. As someone who’s in the trenches with justice and equity work every single day, it’s so heartening to know that other people out there have that fire in their belly just as much as I do.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred people to The ARD to use as a resource. It helps me think more equitably and empathetically so I can recognize things that are harmful or just plain incorrect when it comes to race in medicine. We’re raising scholarship funds for underrepresented students coming to our medical school, and The ARD helps me have difficult conversations about that with other white people. The daily newsletter is lifeblood for me.
Q: Do you have a message for other ARD readers?
Every sacrifice y’all make, everything you do, we’re making a difference. It’s not going to be like this forever. We just need to keep fighting the fight. Know that there’s a whole community of people out here doing the same work, wanting the same things.