PRSS Visiting Fellow Christopher Willoughby Publishes New Book: Masters of Health

PRSS Visiting Fellow Dr. Christopher D. E. Willoughby's new book, Masters of Health: Racial Science and Slavery in U.S. Medical Schoolswas published by The University of North Carolina Press in 2022. PRSS Director Dorothy Roberts and previous PRSS Postdoctoral Fellow Natalie Shibley both contributed book reviews:

“With innovative archival research on the writings of medical students, Willoughby brilliantly illuminates how ideas about Black anatomical difference found an intellectual home in medical schools, becoming foundational to U.S. medical culture, pedagogy, and practice and to the politics of slavery, global capitalism, and imperialism. Willoughby provides a crucial lesson for grappling with racism in medicine today: we must trace its persistence not so much to the racist doctors who built the medical profession but more to the way racist ideas grounded the medical profession’s development. Masters of Health is essential reading for understanding medicine’s enduring entanglements with slavery and for efforts to eliminate their afterlives in medicine today.”—Dorothy Roberts, author of Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century

 Click here for book review published in Nursing Clio by Dr. Natalie Shibley.


Christopher D. E. Willoughby is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the History of Medicine Health at Pitzer College. He is also editor of the book Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery and a Visiting Fellow in the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society.