Raising Women’s Voices

Racial barriers faced by medical providers

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on November 14, 2008

We have called attention to the unjust and dangerous inequities in care provided to minority patients in the past, and will continue to do so, but an article by Dr. Pauline Chen in yesterday’s New York Times sheds some light on the barriers faced by those on the other side of the health care equation – our doctors.

Chen discusses preconceptions based on race that physicians of color face among colleagues and in doctor-patient interactions.  Some recount experiences in which patients assume they are transports, or nurses pass them over assuming the younger white medical student or resident is in charge.  While such assumptions – as conscious or subconscious as they may be – must be confronted within the profession and by the individuals who make them, perhaps even more significant is one study’s finding of a higher rate of error reported by white patients treated by minority doctors than those treated by whites.

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