Friday, 31 July 2020

We are the World Blogfest # 39 UK Medical Student creates handbook to show clinical symptoms on darker skin …


This youngster’s idea that skin types vary so much – yet medical reference books are usually written from a white skin perspective – with no mention as to the appearance on other skin types, he felt that aspect needed to be addressed.




… it reminds me of my #WATWB #30: Invisible Women … their female humanness is often not included in something designed by the other half of the population.



Malone Mukwende - junior doctor at
St George's Medical School, London


Here we have a medical student who sees skin colour as an important condition in deciphering what could be wrong with specific peoples – and which needs to be noted.





Young Malone Mukwende, a medical student at St George’s University of London (St George’s Hospital Medical School) working with two of his senior peers has put together this handbook – the hospital authorities are looking to publish it – making it generally available.



The First Edition
'A Handbook of Clinical Signs
in Black and Brown Skins'
It cannot but help trainee doctors, nurses, paramedics and medical experts become more aware of different skin types ... 




... and how conditions on black and  brown skins will vary – and not always present exactly as reacted and reported on a paler skin person … eg blue lips may not be a useful descriptor for a black patient.



The handbook is going to look at other ways that could help with communication skills with clinical language – so a more holistic approach can be taken.



This to me – sounds a much needed medical reference book … there are so many different skin types – in this country we are a very mixed bag having been peopled over millennia from around the globe … as many are finding out when they check their genealogy and DNA.



Fitzpatrick Scale
Brilliant – at least I think so! – Malone’s book deserves high recognition and massive publicity in the near future … which I’m sure it will get.



Congratulations to Malone Mukwende – looks like he’ll make an empathetic doctor as he passes his exams up the ranks in the medical profession … 





... I wonder how far he will go and where his speciality will be: a name to look out for.  He will make a great contribution to helping many ... #WATWB peoples.



We are the World Blogfest
In Darkness, Be Light



‘Mind the Gap’ – St George’s Hospital’s: First Edition of A Handbook of Clinical Signs in Black and Brown Skin

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

33 comments:

Hels said...

Well done, Malone Mukwende! The reason trainee doctors, nurses and paramedics needed to become more aware of different types of patients was because they could only read the books and journal articles that were actually published. So in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they couldn't possibly know much about women, non-Whites, gays etc.

But why did it take until now to publish more inclusively?

Botanist said...

Another example of unconscious bias! Good work, and long overdue. It's time our institutions and ways of looking at the world regard all people equally.

Joanne said...

genius young man. Good work. It's like thinking about the differences between men and women - yes, symptoms and reactions are different. Skin colors are different. Not "wrong" - just need attention, and consideration of factors.
Good post and it's TIME. Whew!

Keith's Ramblings said...

It's been a long time coming, but, as they say, better late than never. Thanks for drawing our attention to it Hilary.

Sue Bursztynski said...

This is going to be VERY useful! And he isn’t even out of University?

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. He has responded wonderfully to a need. That's the kind of person that medicine, and all the world, needs to have in it's ranks.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s meaningfully minatory Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Susan Scott said...

What a smart young man is Malone Mukwende and what an asset to delve into this overlooked area, the largest organ we have, skin ..thanks Hilary, this is so interesting! Great post for #WATWB. This to me is like raising a vibration ... have a great weekend and take care

Annalisa Crawford said...

How fantastic, great work by Malone!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hels - I so agree ... when I read up about it - it makes total sense and St George's is one of our major teaching hospitals ... so he's in the right place for it to be promoted. I hope it'll get out into the world ... especially to nations with a brown or black population.

Who knows Hels ... think about the Invisible Women book ... bias is all around us ... this will help a great deal.

@ Ian - yes 'unconscious bias' or just lack of thinking. We do seem to be becoming more aware ... I hope Covid doesn't dampen too much help the western nations can give those in need.

@ Joanne - yes brilliant that his realisation was taken up by those higher up the ranks - so this book can come to fruition, none too soon. Exactly ... skin type really affects so much in medicine - that I don't know about ... but this rings a huge bell in my head ... it seems commenters feel the same way.

@ Keith - I know - we don't realise these things until someone draws our attention to the anomalies in life ... and I'm certain more awareness will follow.

@ Sue - thanks it will be VERY useful as you say - I hope it'll get distributed out into other continents. He does look terribly young doesn't he - makes me feel ancient!

@ Bazza - yes ... we are fortunate we are in an age when people can be recognised and their bright ideas accepted into the mainstream. Covid seems to be giving some latent ideas freedom to be developed - thank goodness. Malone seems to be well on his way to being an 'awareness doctor' - he'll have an open mind, when dealing with patients.

@ Susan - it seems his name is of Zimbabwean origin. Yes - I liked the fact that the organ covers the whole body, while skins vary so much in type, colour and depth of dermis ... all things must make a difference to treatment.

I was immediately taken with the accomplishment of this first edition of his handbook - it'll be so useful ... I hope it gets out to all parts of the world.

@ Annalisa - it's great to know about isn't it ...

Thanks to you all - #WATWBers ... it seems this post has rung the right bell ... I'll try and keep an eye open to any developments.

Take care, stay safe and look after others obo In Darkness, Be Light ... Hilary

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Malone Mukwende has made a very useful contribution to medical understanding. When I worked as a care worker I worked a lot with black children so I understand the difficulty first-hand. Luckily I also had a few black colleagues who could be asked for advice.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well if you think about the various races and cultures and how skin types vary so much, it makes sense.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Kudos to Malone. Anything we can do to make our philosophies and practices more inclusive is all to the good. I am encouraged to read this kind of good news story once in a while.

Jo said...

Sounds like a brilliant young man who will go far. Something I never would have thought of but, as you say, blue lips wouldn't be the same on a black skin.

Pradeep Nair said...

Malone Mukwende's work sounds quite interesting. A child prodigy!
I am sure a number of co-relations can be drawn from characteristics, such as skin colour.
Something that is different -- be it skin colour or manner of speaking or food habits -- doesn't mean one is superior and other is inferior. There could surely be clues hidden behind these differences that might help us understand people better.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Thank you for sharing this, Hilary - what a fine young man and such work so early in his career surely bodes well for his future - and all who come under his care! YAM xx

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ John – he does certainly seem to have left his mark for his future. I bet you can understand re your care work – and having lived abroad as I did one needs to adjust to people’s societies etc so I can see where he’s coming from.
Also I struggle understanding some people with a different background … often from a professional point of view – some master it, some don’t … I try and adjust – but don’t always – unfortunately …

@ Alex – yes exactly our skins are all different … as you say: it makes sense …

@ David – I enjoy doing these posts, but I always try and keep mine upbeat. We all need to learn to adjust to others’ ways of life … so as you say anything we can do to make our philosophies and practices more inclusive is definitely for the good.

@ Jo – it’s so obvious isn’t it … thank goodness he’s done something about it for others … and he will, as you say, go far …

@ Pradeep – he looks a child doesn’t he – but I guess must 20 … so so young! Help!! I agree – there are other similar characteristics that could be helped to understand … I try and work out what’s going on – but don’t always succeed. I wonder if a series of booklets might be forthcoming … so many dialects too …

@ Yam – it’s a pleasure to share – just seems such a thoughtful young medical student – who will go places … especially as he’s got enough gumph to push his peers to helping with the publication of the handbook.

Thanks to you all for visiting … I’m off to the beach-front … for a walk in the heat before I melt – our one day of excess heat. Take care - Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

Interesting post. I'm surprised that hasn't been considered before. There certainly is plenty of discussion on what diseases affect different people. Kudos to him for noticing and doing something about it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What a brilliant young man. Yes, this pasty Danish girl's skin is very different from someone with some actual pigmentation to them.

Vallypee said...

Excellent! I confess I would never have thought of this, but it's so important. Well done, Malone. A brilliant young man with enormous insight!

Liz A. said...

A long overdue reference. Here in the US, Black patients have a much harder time with doctors and hospitals. It shouldn't be that way.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Bloody good job

retirementreflections said...

It's incredible that this has not been done before. Well done, Malone.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui – it surprised me … but I hadn’t thought about it – equally makes perfect sense – which he realised. I agree totally kudos to him.

@ Diane – I know … clever to realise the gap and something that is needed. I can believe your Danish skin is so different to the Mediterranean ones … we have a great mix of skin types here in the UK.

@ Val – exactly my thoughts Val … so made sense to bring this to the #WATWB readers.

@ Liz – it’s not easy here, but I’m sure much more difficult in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

@ Jo-Anne – a good job, yes …

@ Donna – strange but true and so as you say good for him, that he’s doing something about it … I’m sure he’ll be going places helping others in this country and around the world.

Take care and stay safe all of you … Malone Mukwende’s common sense idea is so necessary … kudos to him. Hilary

Dan said...

This is great. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Anabel Marsh said...

Quite alarming that nothing like this existed before!

Jz said...

What a huge contribution, even before he begins to practice!
Go, Malone!

Rhodesia said...

Well done Malone, glad that somebody has seen that this was needed for the medical profession. Keep well and have a good week, Diane

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Dan - it's just amazing how things come about ... and will be so useful.

@ Anabel - well I know, just like the book Invisible Women ...

@ Jz - yes it'll benefit so many ... and I'm sure will be of enormous use to so many around the world ... as you say: Go Malone ...

@ Diane - yes exactly ... he seems to be in the right place - and I'm sure this will be published, as well as probably put up on the internet ...

Thanks to you all ... take care and stay safe - Hilary

Haddock said...

Like Botanist said, long overdue.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a brilliant idea. Why didn't someone think of it earlier? I know the medical field is just starting to admit that lots of their diagnosis and treatment protocols are entirely geared toward men and not women. There's always ways to make things better.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Haddock - yes long overdue ... it's so good to see it being published.

@ Susan - why our brains don't connect various things .. til we suddenly say -ah yes! We are an odd race - who eventually wakes up. Lots of things work differently for some of the population ... men v women; different skin types, different cultures ... and why we don't think about them is beyond me ... but now we're starting to ...

Thanks to the two of you for visiting ... and for your thoughts - all the best - Hilary

S.A. Larsenッ said...

You always have the most interesting posts, Hilary! Thank you for sharing all of this. Love, love the maps you showed us. I love anything from the past, history and the way it was.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Sheri - your comment popped on the #WATWB Medical post ... but I'll copy across into a comment. This is interesting too!! Cheers Hilary