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The history of medical racism in the field of OBGYN continues to impact quality and access to reproductive care. 

  1. Who is Dr. James Marion Sims?

J. Marion Sims, who is known as the father of modern gynecology, helped develop the speculum for internal gynecological examinations of women and the surgical technique for repairing vesico-vaginal fistulas, a complication of childbirth.  

In 1855, he founded the first Women’s Hospital and later went on to become the president of the American Medical Association and the president of the American Gynecological Society.  His experiments on enslaved women, many times without anesthesia- are controversial and his medical ethics have been debated. 

2. Why are Black and Indigenous women dying at higher rates during or shortly after pregnancy?
3. How is race-based medicine used in OBGYN and how can it worsen existing disparities? 

4. What is a “Mississippi appendectomy?” 

5. Check out some other articles and resources about racial disparities in the field of OBGYN: