WEEK 4: PUBLIC HEALTH
HISTORICAL RACISM AND BIAS IN MEDICINE
The exploitation and brutalization of people of color by doctors and medical providers is one of America's most tragic and largely untold stories. According to
Evelynn Hammonds, a historian of science at Harvard University, “There has never been any period in American history where the health of Blacks was equal to that of Whites. Disparity is built into the system.”
African-American patients tend to receive
cancer, H.I.V., prenatal care, and preventive care. African-American men, in particular, have
health outcomes of any major demographic group. In part, research shows, this is a result of mistrust from a legacy of discrimination.
Thanks to the work of people like Harriet Washington, author of
, there is a new willingness to grapple with the impact of this trauma. Recognizing past injustices is the first step toward a more equitable future.