Fetus in Situ


  • Jamie Thompson Northern Ontario School of Medicine






"Fetus in Situ” is a traditional flat-stitch Métis beadwork piece by settler-Métis artist and medical student Jamie Thompson. The piece measures 10.3 x 8.5cm and is handmade with size 15, 11, and 10 Czech seed beads, depicting a Black fetus with their head within a pelvic bone, about to be born. It considers the structural inequities that Indigenous, Black, and other people of the global majority (PGM) face in Canadian healthcare and in medical imagery. Considering that 30 percent of Canada’s population is non-white and encounters significant social barriers to healthcare access, the representation of non-white skin tones in only 4.5 percent of medical textbooks’ illustrations fails to represent a diversified population (Louie & Wilkes, 2018). In obstetrics specifically, Black women face a three-fold higher risk of death in pregnancy or childbirth compared to their white peers, and there is a studied need for anti-Black racism training and Black healthcare provider representation in obstetrics, a discipline which was founded on experimentation upon Black slaves (Statistics Canada, 2022., CDC, 2024). 

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Author Biography

Jamie Thompson, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

MD Student (Class of 2024) - West Campus

Sudbury, Ontario 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2024). Working together to reduce Black Maternal Mortality. https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/features/maternal-mortality/index.html#print

Louie, P., & Wilkes, R. (2018). Representations of race and skin tone in medical textbook imagery. Social Science & Medicine, 202, 38–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.02.023

Merelli, A. (2023). Medical illustrations neglect people with dark skin. A Nigerian doctor-to-be is working to change that. STAT. https://www.statnews.com/2023/08/22/diversity-medical-illustrations-chidiebere-ibe/

Statistics Canada. (2022, October 26). The Canadian Census: A rich portrait of the country’s religious and ethnocultural diversity. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/221026/dq221026b-eng.htm

Handmade beadwork depicting a Black fetus with their head within a pelvic bone, about to be born.