Honoring a Legacy: Dr. Uché Blackstock’s Provocative Examination of Racism in Medicine

By Office of the President | Apr 16, 2024

Legacy Book Image“Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine” (Legacy) is a New York Times bestselling book penned by Uché Blackstock, M.D., released in January 2024. Dr. Blackstock, a 2009 alumnus of SUNY Downstate’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program and the Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, sheds light in this book on racial disparities in healthcare and collaborates with healthcare institutions to combat systemic racism and promote equitable health outcomes.

Legacy delves deep into the intertwining narrative of Dr. Blackstock’s odyssey and the broader landscape of historical and systemic obstacles confronting Black medical professionals. Dr. Blackstock pays poignant homage to her mother, Dr. Dale Gloria Blackstock, whose life’s work was devoted to serving the community of Central Brooklyn, where she resided and nurtured her family.

Dr. Blackstock’s narrative, rooted in her upbringing in Central Brooklyn amidst the trials of racism, limited community resources, and an unwavering pursuit of equality, forms the cornerstone of Legacy. Her encounters with violence, discrimination, and systemic disparities have molded her identity and profoundly influenced her perspective on healthcare.

By examining both her mother’s and her professional trajectories, Dr. Blackstock provides a comprehensive account of the deep-rooted racism ingrained within the medical landscape and the hurdles posed by racial biases in treatment and delves into the broader repercussions of these injustices on the health outcomes of Black Americans.

Legacy follows Dr. Blackstock’s professional journey, beginning with her post-graduation choice from Harvard Medical School to embark on a residency at Kings County/SUNY Downstate. It explores the hurdles encountered in a healthcare landscape rife with funding shortages. Dr. Blackstock’s narrative progresses to her tenure at an institution, where she grappled with a sense of detachment while tackling the formidable challenge of addressing racial health disparities and systemic racism. She has fully embraced the role of an influential advocacy leader in driving systemic healthcare reform in the United States.

Dr. Blackstock strengthens the mission of creating diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist healthcare environments through Advancing Health Equity. Legacy intricately weaves together her personal and professional paths, underscoring the imperative of adopting a comprehensive strategy to address healthcare disparities within the broader societal context.

BlackstockDr. Blackstock envisions a future healthcare system characterized by equity and inclusivity, acknowledging the intricate interplay between healthcare and broader economic, educational, and social justice realms. She advocates for a sweeping transformation of educational and institutional structures to nurture aspiring Black healthcare professionals from an early stage and confront the systemic injustices that disproportionately impact Black communities.

Legacy serves as a tale of love, endurance, and fortitude. It stands as an earnest plea to reimagine our healthcare and societal frameworks, fostering structures that genuinely uplift Black and marginalized communities. Rooted in Dr. Blackstock’s journey and her mother’s legacy, the book illuminates the crucial imperative of combating systemic racism and dismantling entrenched barriers perpetuating healthcare inequalities and injustices.

Dr. Dale Gloria Blackstock, who died of acute myelogenous leukemia at the age of 47, dedicated numerous years of service in Downstate’s Department of Internal Medicine and the Division of Nephrology—every year at Downstate, the esteemed Dale Blackstock, M.D. Award Ceremony honors her lasting legacy by highlighting women who have exhibited a remarkable commitment to the institution.

You can read more about Dr. Blackstock’s company, Advancing Health Equity, here. Her book, Legacy, is available in bookstores and on