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Author Archive: Keisha Ray

About Keisha Ray


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

It’s well known that in America there are great disparities in health, access to health care, and health care outcomes between black people and white people, with black people, on average, faring much worse than white people. For example, if you are black in America you are more likely to die from breast cancer, heart disease, strokes, and giving birth than if you are white in America. According to the National Institute of Medicine, health disparities between races exist even when factors such as stage of disease presentation and the severity of disease are the same.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Television, film, theater, sports, and music celebrities (and other famous people who only seem to be famous for being famous) capture the public’s attention with tales of the celebrity lives and the perks and downfalls that come with being a public figure. Occasionally, their narratives include topics that are frequently discussed in bioethics. Although it’s great to have the public engaged in topics that we discuss behind closed doors in our offices, classrooms, and laboratories, many times, much to bioethicists and medical practitioners’ irritation, because of their celebrity status they have a large platform to damage the work the medical profession and bioethicists have done to establish a relationship with the public.…

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by Kayhan Parsi, Ph.D.

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” (Cicero)

Fight the Power” (Public Enemy)

Recently, our medical school hosted Dr. Linda Rae Murray to give a talk on structural racism and medicine. A former president of the American Public Health Association, Dr. Murray gave a powerful presentation on the history of racism in the United States and its lingering impact upon health disparities. In one of her more provocative slides, she graphically conveyed the long history of racism toward African Americans in the United States (before and after the founding of the republic).…

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01/05/2016 Imposter Syndrome

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

As a junior scholar, Imposter Syndrome is as a part of my daily life as some people’s morning coffee is a part of their morning routine. Despite considering myself to be a very confident person, Imposter Syndrome is an omnipresent force in my life. Imposter Syndrome is the belief that you are not qualified for a task, job, or promotion despite evidence to the contrary usually in the form of experience, education, degrees, etc. It’s a feeling of phoniness, a feeling that you do not deserve the accolades you have received coupled with the fear that everyone knows you’re a fake.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

This week the St. Louis Rams, a National Football League (NFL) team posted a picture on Twitter of player Wes Welker signing papers, making his departure from the Denver Broncos and his membership in the Rams organization official. Fans, coaches, players, sports commentators and writers typically weigh in on situations like Welker’s by commenting on how players who join new teams will impact their team and other teams in the division, or how players will change the dynamics of the entire NFL league. This time, however, when the Rams posted a picture of Welker thoughts turned to his at least six confirmed concussions (it is suspected that he has suffered at least ten concussions), three of which he received during a nine-month span in the NFL.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

“What are you doing for black philosophy?” This was the only line in a Facebook message that I received a few days ago from someone I did not know. My immediate reaction was one of anger. I kept thinking how dare someone ask me what I’m doing for black philosophy. That anger grew as I clicked the sender’s name and a profile did not come up. I drew the conclusion that this person is likely just an internet troll who found the profile of a seemingly black person with some relation to philosophy, sent this message to aggravate me, and then deactivated or deleted his or her profile.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Freddie Gray’s Death
On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a twenty-five year old black man was arrested and placed in a police van in Baltimore, Maryland for carrying a switchblade (Baltimore State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby later announced that Gray was legally carrying a knife). Perhaps one of the more troubling aspects of Gray’s fateful police van ride was that officers reportedly observed Gray’s unresponsive body on the floor of the police van but still did not take him to see a medic.

By the time Gray reached the Western District Police Station, according to District Attorney Mosby, he was no longer breathing and a medic was called.…

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By Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

In a recent episode of his late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel, father and comedian, included a segment in which real physicians mock parents who do not vaccinate their children in a mock public service announcement. Because Kimmel said it best, here is a long quote from his opening segment:

“If you are one of these anti-vaccine people you probably aren’t going  to take medical advice from a talk show host…and I don’t expect you to. But I would expect you to take medical advice from almost every doctor in the world…See the thing about doctors is they didn’t learn about the human body from their friends’ Facebook page.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Every year the National Football League (NFL) makes between an estimated $7 billion- $9 billion making it the most profitable American professional sports league. The players are arguably what attracts most people to the game and how the league makes its money, whether that be through game attendance or the sale of player related merchandise. The mental health of current players and especially retired players has come under a magnifying glass within the past decade. Past players and the families of past (and deceased) players have accused the NFL of mishandling players with concussions. Four thousand-five hundred players filed a lawsuit against the NFL accusing the organization of ignoring or not properly treating players who have received concussions while playing football and that this negligence led to their diagnoses of Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, heightened and uncontrollable aggression, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders and cognitive impairments.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Last year on the academic job market I had 59 interviews (skype and telephone interviews). That means that 59 times I had to fit a 30-60 minute interview into my insanely busy adjunct teaching schedule. Fifty-nine times I had to prepare for an interview: know the school’s and the department’s mission statement, research the department’s faculty and their areas of specialization, prepare answers to questions that the search committee would likely ask me and make many other preparations. Fifty-nine times I donned my interview attire, set up my computer, made sure that I had proper lighting (when the interviews were not telephone interviews), and prepared to tell a committee of 3-7 people why they should hire me.…

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