Protests around the world cry out against the death of George Floyd by law enforcement and the role of race in his death. Like far too many aspects of society, healthcare is not immune from racial bias. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. said: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” And inhumane it is.
We have heard the reporting of coronavirus disproportionately effecting black Americans. Did you also know:
- The average life expectancy of a black man is 4.4 years less than that of his white counterpart;
- Pregnant black women receive less advice, such as standard-of-care information about recommended weight gain, alcohol use, and breastfeeding from their prenatal care provider as compared to pregnant white women;
- Eliminating racial/ethnic health disparities would reduce health care costs by $230 billion and indirect costs of excess disease and mortality by more than $1 trillion over four years according to one study.
For this Weekend Readings, explore an overview and impact of health disparities as well as steps to mitigate and eliminate the inequalities. Take time to explore the articles in the section titled On a Different Note, and do not miss: Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Frameworkand a Gardener’s Tale.
I hope you learn something new from the following:
A. Healthcare Disparities – An Overview
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Disparities in Health and Health Care: Five Key Questions and Answers
B. Disparities = Unequal Outcomes and Cost
- U of M Health: Health Inequality Actually Is a “Black and White Issue,” Research Says
- The New York Times: The Impact of Racism on Children’s Health
C. Moving Forward From Here
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: What Can the Health Care Sector Do to Advance Health Equity?
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Health Disparities are a Symptom of Broader Social and Economic Inequities
D. On a Different Note
- American Journal of Public Health Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale
- Annals of Family Medicine: White Privilege in a White Coat: How Racism Shaped my Medical Education
- New York Times: How False Beliefs in Physical Racial Difference Still Live in Medicine Today
- American Journal of Public Health: Toward a Historically Informed Analysis of Racial Health Disparities Since 1619
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
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