Thu April 29, 2021 from 4 to 5:30 pm: Carolyn Hutson (Mount Sinai)
Racial and ethnic biases in health care - from slavery to the present
The session will be followed by two parallel debrief sessions (5:30-6 PM): a general in the same Zoom as the lecture, and one for trainees that focuses on the recommended readings, organized by NeuroPIL.
Abuses of marginalized groups by the medical establishment date far back. In the 1800s, NYC physician Dr. Marion Sims unethically experimented on slaves and in the 1900s, U.S. Public Health Services authorized the Tuskegee Experiments, where impoverished African Americans with syphilis were secretly studied and denied treatment. A system of biases and false beliefs keeps communities of color from currently receiving the highest standard of care. For example, white people without medical backgrounds, medical students and residents alike hold false beliefs about biological differences between white and black people, including the incorrect assumption that black people have thicker skin and feel less pain. For treatment of chronic illness, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, clinical outcomes for people of color populations are worse than for non-Hispanic Whites living with the same illness. I will also address how racism and bias in healthcare impact adherence to medical regimens and medications in racial minority populations when treated in traditional U.S. healthcare systems.
1. Jones, James. Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. The Free Press, 1981.
2. Alons, Marcella and Owen Garrick. “Does Diversity Matter for Health?” The National Bureau of Economic Research. June 2018.
3. Duke Center for Personalized Health Care. The Importance of Addressing Language Barriers in the US Health System. July 17, 2018.
4. The Commonwealth Fund. In Focus: Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care by Confronting Racism. September 27, 2018.
5. Racial Differences in Trust in Health Care Providers. JAMA, April 2006.
6. New York Times Magazine. “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies are In a Life or Death Crisis.” April 14, 2018.
7. Washington, Harriet. Medical Apartheid: The Dark Side of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to Present. Harlem Moon Broadway Books, New York 2006.
8. Hoffman, Kim, Trawalter, S. Racial Bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations, and false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites. National Institute of Medicine, 2016 April 19; 113.
9. Van Ryn, Michelle. “Avoiding Unintended Bias: Strategies for Providing More Equitable Health Care." Minnesota Medicine March/April 2016.