Vanessa Grubbs: Racial Disparities in Kidney Transplants

HundredsOfInterlaced_bookcoverDr. Vanessa Grubbs is one of the rare few black doctors in nephrology (specializing in the kidney) and that’s just the beginning. She recently published a book looking at racial disparities in kidney transplantation and kidney disease. These issues were enveloped in a love story: she donated her own kidney to her now husband…before they were married.

When they were dating, Vanessa gained insight into the lives of those who live with kidney disease. This lead to changing her field in medicine to nephrology itself, and publishing on racial disparities including issues concerning undocumented immigrants and language barriers for patients.

We met at KBOO and had a fascinating conversation on the disparities due to blood type of African American patients (“good for harvest, bad for planting”) as well as medical assumptions about pain tolerance in specific racial minorities, and how oftentimes undocumented immigrants are the best candidates for transplants, but in the worst circumstances to undergo the procedure.


Dr. Vanessa Grubbs

This interview aired on KBOO for the August 30, 2017 episode of Intersections Radio. Check out the podcast!

Air date: 8/30/2017 
**Read the transcript of the interview: 091317 Intersections with Vanessa Grubbs transcript