Social scientists and public health researchers agree, race has no basis in biology, but is, on the contrary, “socially constructed.” The COVID-19 pandemic has cast into stark relief racial disparities in access to healthcare, medical treatment, and health outcomes, especially with respect to Black patients. What undergirds these inequities? How do the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow continue to inform contemporary biomedicine? What sorts of social and political factors modulate individuals’ experience of health and wellbeing across the lifecourse? In this talk, Dr. Pendyal will provide a framework for understanding our present discourse surrounding health and health disparities. 

Dr. Akshay Pendyl is a cardiologist, researcher, and writer living in North Carolina. He earned his undergraduate degree in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania, his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master's in research and health policy from Yale University. His interests are in qualitative research methods, narrative medicine and medical humanities, and the philosophy and sociology of science.

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Sponsored by the Humanities Program