Podcast Project Captures Voices of Black Health Care Workers

Illustration of Black health care worker exiting an emergency department whose entrance is decorated with a mural of George Floyd
Illustration: Ashley Floréal / The Nocturnists

Just as racism is a structural feature of American society, it also is encoded in the US health care system. Stories that explore the real-world manifestations of this phenomenon are powerful tools to spark honest conversations about race — a topic often avoided because it makes people uncomfortable.

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the podcast The Nocturnists launched a documentary series, Black Voices in Healthcare, that aims to use the power of audio storytelling to shed light on racial injustice built into our institutions, our interactions, and our daily lives.

The podcasters say their series aims to “highlight the experiences of Black health care workers — their joys, sorrows and everything in between.” It was created by two Black physicians and leaders in the medical humanities, host Ashley McMullen, MD, of San Francisco and executive producer Kimberly Manning, MD, of Georgia.

So far, more than 200 Black health care workers have signed up to participate. The series continues to expand its lineup of audio diarists telling the stories of doctors, nurses, social workers, medical assistants, hospital chaplains and others.

CHCF is proud to sponsor this important new series, part of a growing number of CHCF-supported storytelling podcasts featuring the voices of patients and providers.

Listen to the first two episodes of Black Voices in Healthcare — “Again” and “Joy.”