Health Equity Tourism: Ravaging the Justice Landscape

Elle Lett, Dalí Adekunle, Patrick McMurray, Emmanuella Ngozi Asabor, Whitney Irie, Melissa A. Simon, Rachel Hardeman, Monica R. McLemore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As the long-standing and ubiquitous racial inequities of the United States reached national attention, the public health community has witnessed the rise of “health equity tourism”. This phenomenon is the process of previously unengaged investigators pivoting into health equity research without developing the necessary scientific expertise for high-quality work. In this essay, we define the phenomenon and provide an explanation of the antecedent conditions that facilitated its development. We also describe the consequences of health equity tourism – namely, recapitulating systems of inequity within the academy and the dilution of a landscape carefully curated by scholars who have demonstrated sustained commitments to equity research as a primary scientific discipline and praxis. Lastly, we provide a set of principles that can guide novice equity researchers to becoming community members rather than mere tourists of health equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Health Equity
  • Health Justice
  • Racism
  • Systemic and Structural Discrimination

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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