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BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Health Equity #1

Centering the Conversation Around Health Equity

with Dr. Ayanna Bennett

In this episode Dr. Kumar and Dr. Bennett discuss various levels of racism found in healthcare, and share allegories of racism as outlined by Dr. Camara P. Jones, including the gardeners tale.

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Centering the Conversation Around Health Equity with Dr. Ayanna Bennett on the BackTable ENT Podcast)
Centering the Conversation Around Health Equity
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, February 25). Ep. health-equity-01 – Centering the Conversation Around Health Equity [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Ayanna Bennett discusses Centering the Conversation Around Health Equity on the BackTable health-equity-01 Podcast

Dr. Ayanna Bennett

Dr. Ayanna Bennett is a pediatrician and the Chief Health Equity Officer & Director at the Office of Health Equity for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Dr. Vishal Kumar discusses Centering the Conversation Around Health Equity on the BackTable health-equity-01 Podcast

Dr. Vishal Kumar

Dr. Vishal Kumar is an interventional radiologist with UCSF in California.


In this episode, guest host Dr. Vishal Kumar interviews Dr. Ayanna Bennett about how to train ourselves to recognize perpetuated health disparities within the medical system and how we can actively work to dismantle them.

The doctors first talk about understanding racism on an institutional level, which results in a “machine” that selectively delivers better and worse aspects of healthcare to different populations. Dr. Bennett emphasizes that every disease process shows race disparities not because of inherent biological differences in racial groups, but because of unequal frequencies and quality of contact with healthcare systems.

Throughout the episode, they reference the allegories of Dr. Camara Jones, a physician-epidemiologist and civil rights activist. These allegories provide a framework for discussing nature vs. nurture for health outcomes and also privilege defined as the lack of barriers to entry.

In terms of actionable steps that providers can take toward reducing health inequity, Dr. Bennett encourages us to learn and engage with the communities that they serve. She advises us to be “counter-stereotypical” and show interest in patients’ lives outside of the healthcare setting. Finally, she calls us to analyze the impact that our institutions have on maintaining the health of the community as a whole, rather than solely focusing on individual patients.


The Gardener’s Tale Allegory by Dr. Camara Jones:

Tedx Talk by Dr. Camara Jones:

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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