NBCI Course study: The History of African-Americans in Clinical Trials

Overcoming historical stigma is a major concern for minority populations and is likely one of the most common factors driving the low participation numbers. For the Black community, the clinical trials are reminders of the often negative intersection of ethics, race, and medicine that has led to distrust.

This course will equip and educate clinicians on the history of abuse that African-Americans have experienced by unethical researchers over the past 400 years. NBCI is trying to transform the negative notions concerning African-Americans and why they seem extremely reluctant to participate in clinical trials. For avoiding us repeating history, we must know the history and understand the pitfalls and begin to transform the moment into a teaching moment with the purpose of moving African-Americans towards better health outcomes.

The student must complete all of the below requirements to obtain a certificate of understanding and continuous education credits (CEC) in the area of the history of African-Americans and clinical trials. This course can be taken in one day or over several weeks. We suggest for clarity and understanding of critical educational lessons that the student take this course in one week devoting four hours per day.

1. Lesson One

A Historic Analysis of Medical Abuses and Promises of the Future

Dr. Benjeil Z. Edghill - Biography
NMA logo Dr. Benjeil

Distinguished Physician Leads Ophthalmology Section of the National Medical Association

Benjeil Z. Edghill, MD, has been appointed chair of the National Medical Association (NMA) Ophthalmology Section. The ophthalmology section of the NMA has been a leading force in eliminating disparities in minority healthcare and promoting optimal health through its focus on the collective interest of ophthalmologists and patients of color.

Dr. Edghill will serve a two-year term as chair of the NMA Ophthalmology section. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native has been practicing in Staten Island for the past 12 years as the only glaucoma fellowship trained ophthalmologist on the island.

He leads the ophthalmology section as it convenes during the NMA’s Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly held July 27-30 at the Hawaiian Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The convention brings members of the medical community together to learn and celebrate diversity in medicine while focusing on the mission of promoting eye health care equity, increasing workforce diversity in the field of ophthalmology, educating and being the voice of our physicians, patients, and communities; all while enhancing the quality of life of patients and eliminating health care disparities in America and throughout the world.

Dr. Edghill is committed to helping the underserved through community service and on medical missions, including trips to Ghana and Haiti. He is a member of the organization Association Haitenne De Development Humain, which promotes the betterment of Haitians through humanitarian programs that focus on healthcare, education, culture and development in Haiti and Louisiana.

He is one of the founding members of the David K. McDonogh Scholarship, which is dedicated to building a diverse pipeline in Ophthalmology and Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) specialties. He also serves on the board of Sankofa Community Empowerment, a local community organization and his passion is helping young people of color to achieve their full potential through mentorship.

Dr. Edghill earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received the prestigious Morehead Award Scholarship. He attended Duke University School of Medicine, receiving the Dean's scholarship, the Nathan Award and the Charles Johnson Award. He also earned the ARVO/NEI Travel Fellowship Award and Research to Prevent Blindness Fellowship Grant.

His formal ophthalmology training was done at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn. As a resident, he entered the Rabb Venable competition and took first place in 2006 for his research on retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). He returned to the Duke Eye Center to complete his glaucoma and anterior segment fellowship under the chairmanship of David Epstein, MD.

About the National Medical Association

Founded in 1895, the National Medical Association is the collective voice of African American physicians and the leading force for parity and justice in medicine and the elimination of disparities in health. The NMA is a national professional and scientific organization representing the interests of more than 50,000 African American physicians and the patients they serve.

This videotape provides a comprehensive view of the history of abuse of white researchers on African-American subjects. One should pay particular attention to the nature of the abuse, the abuser, the institutional justification that allows the abuse to take place, and the lack of any systematic sanctions whether criminal or otherwise visited upon the individual researcher or institution.

2. Lesson Two

These three videotapes are an attempt by NBCI to turn the corner on the historic abuse that African-Americans suffered over a 400-year period. The student needs to pay particular attention to the issues around cultural competency and the value and benefits of having African-American clinicians as both a major and substantive part of the clinical team and why an all-European clinical team may suffer from the issue of cultural competencies.

3. Lesson Three

The student here should familiarize themselves with the issues of informed consent and all of its many important characteristics and elements. The student should also focus intensely on the ethical guidelines for all researchers as directed by the National Institute of Health.

The Unbelievable Story; the Immortal Woman (The Henrietta Lacks Story) #onemichistory

Avoiding Ethical Issues in Working with the African-American Community

4. Lesson Four

The student should familiarize themselves with the scholarship that has been developed as a result of the systematic abuse of African-Americans in clinical trials over the past 400 years.


5. Lesson Five

What really happened during the Tuskegee Experiment - Who is to Blame?

The Tuskegee Experiment: Crash Course Black American History

Black Clinical Trials Reference books

Take the exam, test your knowledge, and Earn CME

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