WEEK 4: PUBLIC HEALTH
RACISM AND BIAS IN MEDICINE TODAY
A 2016 survey
of 222 white medical students and residents published in
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
showed that half of the students endorsed at least one myth about physiological differences between black people and white people, including that black people’s nerve endings are less sensitive than their white counterparts. This made the providers less likely to recommend appropriate pain management treatment.
This fallacy allows scientists, doctors and other medical providers to ignore their own complicity in health care inequality and gloss over the internalized racism and both conscious and unconscious bias that drive them to go against their very oath to do no harm.
Today we will learn how a history of racism in American medicine, combined with unconscious bias from health care professionals, is impacting the quality of care that people of color receive today.