Racial Bias In Health Care

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I came across a report Racial Bias in Health Care and Health penned by Dr. David R. Williams and Dr. Ronald Wyatt which discusses racial and ethnic disparities from a health care perspective and why steps should be taken to address it. He shares his experience when confronted with implicit and explicit bias as a patient at a local hospital. Implicit bias is behavior that results from subtle implicit attitudes and implicit stereotypes that often happen unconsciously and without any overt intent. I personally connect to this article as I recall several instances where my mother, grandmother and I were involved with medical personnel who we felt treated us negatively due either to biases, microagression, lack of cultural humility/sensitivity, …show more content…
He practiced “narrative medicine”. Dr. Rita Charon wrote Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness. This practice is about aiming to introduce into everyday medical practice the use of (story telling) as an instrument to gather and understand information about the patient 's history and illness. Having knowledge of a patient’s psychological and physical state is very helpful. This effective practice of healthcare requires the ability to recognize, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and predicaments of others. It is a humane and effective medical practice. When he died, a younger doctor took his place. He was less engaging, very arrogant and very impatient. His exams were like stopping at the drive through. She didn’t trust him and her medical appointments became a source of stress and frustration. There is a certain distrust that minorities sometimes have regarding doctors and nurses. History shows that we have been used for various studies and experiments (Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and No Más Bebés). I want to add that most people don’t realize that they don’t have to take harsh treatment form healthcare personnel. I was young so I didn’t know I could complain to a higher authority. I know now that I can speak to a hospital ombudsman to hear my complaint. I am glad that Dr. Wyatt was able to see what happens in his …show more content…
There is a big issue now for African American women who desire to wear their hair in its natural state. Some have been told they can’t wear ethnic hairstyles. The reading addressed this issue by saying “willingness to challenge and change institutional practices that present barriers to different groups is an important stance to take”. I agree with this stance. If diversity is inclusive, how do we tell someone that who they and what they look like isn’t acceptable? The golden rule is “treat others as you want to be treated”. We assume the way we want to treat someone is the way they desire to be treated. When you look at respect, the doctor that “treated” Dr. Wyatt would not have approved of the treatment if it were him. Looking at Dr. Wyatt in the face would have been respectful and acknowledging him as a person. In another culture it could be seen as disrespectful. We have to take into consideration what respect looks like to another person or from another culture. I agree with the reading that although it is natural to want a cookbook approach to diversity issues, diversity has many layers. I feel that there isn’t a twelve step to getting it right every single time. That being said, we have to take steps in the right direction. We can do this by acknowledging our differences and similarities and

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