Minority Patients Benefit From Having Minority DoctorsFebruary 17, 2020 |
by Ryan Huerto
In today’s America, minority patients still have markedly worse health outcomes than white patients. The differences are greatest for black Americans: Compared to white patients, they are two to three times as likely to die of preventable heart disease and stroke. They also have higher rates of cancer, asthma, influenza, pneumonia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and homicide. For many of them, structural racism and unequal treatment remain a contributing factor to disease and death.
I am a physician who studies health disparities and ways to improve health care delivery. My work focuses on people of color, including those who are black and indigenous. Improving health care delivery for these groups of people is a complicated and multi-layered task, but solutions exist. One of them is to increase the probability that minorities see doctors of their race or ethnicity, which I refer to as patient-provider racial and ethnic concordance. I have partnered with Prof. Edwin Lindo, a critical race theorist, to help explain why.