Racism in Health: How Racial Bias Affects African Americans in Medical Institutions

Source: CBS News

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlighted the disparity in medical assessment and treatment for African American versus white patients.

The study, launched by the University of Virginia, surveyed 200 white medical students and residents and found that more often than not, racial bias caused students to under-diagnose and undermine the pain of black patients. The survey asked medical students about their beliefs on biological differences between black and whites, such as whether they believed black people’s nerve endings are less sensitive than white, or whether black people have thicker skin than white people. The results showed that the 40 percent of first and second years, 22 percent of third years, and 25 percent of residents believed such.

The study proved that in fact these core beliefs about biological differences leads to underestimating the diagnosis needed for a black patient. Such beliefs, the study states, stem from racist ideologies that were once used to justify slavery. Prying these beliefs and breaking them could prove useful to improving diagnosis for black patients.

Read full story at: CBS News

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