The medical field faces long-standing racial bias – The Daily Eastern News
The medical establishment has used and abused black Americans for a long time. It comes from underlying racism and prejudice, while having led to scientific discoveries in some cases, such as in the cells of Henrietta Lacks, but our lives are ignored.
It ranges from horrific experiments on slaves, forced sterilizations of black women, to the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study that denied treatment to hundreds of black men for decades to allow doctors to track the disease. evolution of the disease.
It is only about what we can contribute, not how we can benefit from the science discovered by some of these health professionals.
When black people try to bring up these issues, we’re often dismissed, but plenty of studies support our fears that the health professions still don’t take us seriously sometimes.
In 2016, a study of black cancer patients and their doctors found that, overall, providers with high implicit bias were less supportive of their patients and spent less time with them than providers with low implicit bias.
Black patients echoed these attitudes and viewed physicians with high implicit bias as less patient-centered than physicians with low bias. Patients also had more difficulty remembering what their doctor had told them, had less confidence in their treatment plans and believed it would be more difficult to follow recommended treatments, according to the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
We deserve equal treatment for the cost of medical care in this country.
Further, a report by an Institute of Medicine panel of behavioral scientists, physicians, public health experts, and other health professionals titled “Unequal Treatment,” concluded that even when barriers to accessing care such as insurance and family income were managed for, racial and ethnic minorities received poorer health care than non-minorities. Explicit and implicit biases played a potential role in this regard.
Patients shouldn’t feel like they’re trying to prove anything to their doctors, but sometimes, as a minority, that’s how it feels. It’s as if we have to prove that we deserve to be treated and that we don’t just overreact and make up symptoms.
A 2016 journal article showed that half of medical students and residents held one or more false beliefs about supposed biological differences between black and white patients. One example includes the belief that black patients have a higher pain tolerance than white patients, according to a journal from the University of Virginia’s Department of Public Health Sciences.
Additional studies have shown that black Americans are consistently undertreated for pain compared to white patients, according to the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.
If this is not continually discussed, we will never make progress in the right direction to correct these mistakes and provide people with the health care they deserve. Implicit and explicit biases against people of color prevent them from being taken seriously in the medical field.
Theo Edwards is a junior psychology student. They can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]