As an obstetrician and gynecologist with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Tajh Ferguson, ’10, is facing head-on the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racism in America.

“Multiple patients have told me I’m the first Black doctor they have seen,” said Ferguson, who is based at a community health center in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. Her patients’ frequent statement does not surprise her.

“When I started at the hospital in Boston last year, I was the only Black attending physician on labor and delivery” she said.

Ferguson serves a community that is primarily Afro Caribbean, Latinx, and African American. She says that in America, Black women are two to three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, so she works to address this disparity and to educate wider audiences about the significant role that systemic racism plays in medicine generally and her field in particular.

Her recent work on this front includes co-founding the Diversity, Inclusion, and Advocacy Committee for the residents from Harvard Medical School at Beth Israel Deaconess. She also teaches at Harvard Medical School and shares her medical expertise widely. In recent articles in InStyle and Glamour magazines, for example, she offered tips for relief from morning sickness and a guide for what patients need to know about giving birth by cesarean section.

A dual citizen, Ferguson originally came to Richmond from Nassau, Bahamas, to study science. A career in medicine was always her plan.

“I have always had a vision and worked toward this,” she said. “I’ve been involved in this work since UR, where I participated in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.”