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While I am angry with the victory of Trump, I would do myself and the people and issues I care about a disservice if I only focus on the pessimism I feel about the next four years.

Thinking about it really does engender great fear and bitter disappointment. Every single issue I care so passionately about could be challenged and uprooted — from climate change to health care to education policy.

While he garnered enough support to win the Electoral College, I do not believe the majority of Americans subscribe to Trump’s dangerous rhetoric. Therefore, while the conservative policy agenda will make huge strides, the most heinous of Trump’s plans — such as deporting 11 million people — are unlikely to bear fruit.


Perhaps most importantly, Trump, even with the office of the presidency, will never be able to bring back the America that ignored the humanity of the LGBTQ community or the America that allowed discrimination of racial minorities. America will never be “great again” in the way Trump promised his voters. His movement will inevitably suffocate itself, and a new generation will be there to pick up the pieces and build a new Republican Party.

It is within this new generation I have found a glimmer of hope — hope in the America we will inevitably become.

My generation will be the most diverse and potentially the most united in American history.

The divisive politics of the last six months are likely to continue over the next four years, and this divisiveness will only unite and mobilize the majority of Americans who do not share Trump’s hatefulness, especially millennials. America will continue to diversify, and we will champion this diversity. Those of us who came of age in the Obama era have seen what is possible, and we will be united when the time comes for us to lead our nation and the world.

My generation will not stand by and allow intolerance to fester. We will not abandon the issues we care so deeply about. We will not stop dreaming about a better America.

We will not give up, no matter who is in the White House.

All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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