Challenging medical racism and physician preference for white patients

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Access to adequate healthcare is a fundamental human right. It is essential for the wellbeing of an individual and the society in general. Intrinsically, the medical profession is one of the most important ones, as it ensures the preservation of life. Over the years, there have been concerns in this highly respected field. The notable concern has been about racial discrimination while accessing medical care. It is seen that white patients get a more comprehensive medical treatment as opposed to other races, especially the blacks. It has, therefore, brought forth the topic relating to the challenging medical racism and physician preference for white patients. In my opinion, I agree with the idea of challenging medical racism and doctors’ preference for white patients. It plays a role in raising consciousness about the embedded biasness within the medical fraternity, which reduces racial discrimination among minority groups (Culp-Ressler, (2015). Due to this, doctors should be more involved in fighting for equality based on race to enable all races to have access to adequate medical care, thus, improving the patients’ well-being, mainly black patients. It will lead to the reduction of racism in the medical establishment and the community as a whole.

The viewpoint of raising awareness about implicit biases that are entrenched in the health care system leads to the reduction of racial discrimination. It states a valid point because in several kinds of research done on medical practitioners, the results suggest that they have an unconscious attitude towards patients of other races (Hessle & Almeida, 2014). It eventually leads to compromising the quality of health care services offered to patients of other races. This impacts negatively on patients from minority groups as they tend to delay treatment due to the feeling of being uncared for and thus no need for treatment as soon as they feel ill. It, thus, results in bad health among these minority groups such as the blacks, who avoid seeking treatment for fear of discrimination and getting poor treatment (Mitchell, 2016). An example is whereby African-Americans suffer from more diseases as opposed to the whites. Statistics show that African-Americans have a higher rate of dying from diseases compared to other racial groups such as the whites.

Nonetheless, the stereotypes that physicians hold against the minority groups influence their clinical diagnosis, which goes against the ethics of the profession of doing no harm. Racial discrimination in the medical sector is an issue that requires all stakeholders to be involved and the society as a whole to work together to eradicate it. For instance, medical students have in the past held protests to bring about awareness to the injustices that the minority groups undergo in seeking access to health care. It has been a significant step to make the society to realize what is happening in bringing about a long-lasting solution to the issue (Harrington & Daniele, 2016). While raising awareness of the biases within the medical sector, it is of vital importance to include health care practitioners in the fight against medical racism and offering preferential treatment for the white patients. This would ensure that all patients are catered for equally and thus, reclaiming the positive attitude towards the medical profession.

The opposing viewpoint that disagrees with the challenging of medical racism and the preference for white patients is a bias in itself. Raising awareness about the implicit biases that are rooted in the healthcare system ends up creating more racial issues and not getting health workers to participate in the same to save more minority lives, thus, offers an unconvincing perspective. It is a fact that there are discrepancies in health care when it comes to the different races where the whites have it easier in accessing treatment (Browner, 2005). Intrinsically, the medical racial issue if left unaddressed will lead to poor health among the minority groups. It will also give the medical profession a wrong impression as it will be against racial equality. By not raising awareness on medical racism and preferential treatment of the white, such biases will proceed to a point where the minority groups will lose faith in the health care system. It will, thus, lead to increasing death rates among these groups.

Challenging medical racism and physicians’ preference for white patients is a major factor in ensuring the citizens’ holistic wellbeing. In an attempt to facilitate improved healthcare to all citizens, this issue has to be tackled accordingly to further provide a strong belief in the medical field. Notwithstanding, it would encourage more African-Americans to enroll in the medical field which would bring about racial equality in the medical sector (Culp-Ressler, (2015). Changing policies and evoking strict penalties to physicians involved in medical racism will lead to its extinction. Despite the fact that these biases are mostly unconscious, such stringent measures will ensure that it does not occur. Raising awareness of biases that serve the purpose of deeply entrenching racism in the medical profession will consequently facilitate more health care practitioners to participate in its termination (Ansell & McDonald, 2015). To ensure that such discrepancies are captured as soon as they occur or even before the occurrence, continuous medical training will be of vital importance.

In conclusion, we can all advocate for creating awareness and in the long run, challenging medical racism and the preferential treatment of the white patients by advocating for medical equality.

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  1. Ansell, D. A., & McDonald, E. K. (January 01, 2015). Bias, black lives, and academic medicine. The New England Journal of Medicine, 372, 12, 1087-9.
  2. Browner, S. P. (2005). Profound science and elegant literature: Imagining doctors in nineteenth-century America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  3. Culp-Ressler, T. (2015). Challenging Medical Racism and Physicians’ Preference for White Patients. ThinkProgress. Retrieved from: https://thinkprogress.org/challenging-medical-racism-and-physicians-preference-for-white-patients-59bec589df88
  4. Hessle, S., & Almeida, S. M. F. (2014). Human rights and social equality: Challenges for social work. Surrey, England; Burlington, Vermont
  5. In Harrington, M. M., & In Daniele, E. A. (2016). Gerontology: Changes, challenges, and solutions. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger.
  6. Mitchell, M. (2016). Doctors argue bias causes health care gap. CHICAGO NEWS. Retrieved from: http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/doctors-argue-bias-causes-health-care-gap/
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