Added: Arasely Soriano - Date: 23.12.2021 16:50 - Views: 26903 - Clicks: 3726
We still have a long way to go before Black people receive the medical care they need. This is Race and Medicine, a series dedicated to unearthing the uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening truth about racism in healthcare. By highlighting the experiences of Black people and honoring their health journeys, we look to a future where medical racism is a thing of the past. As a dark-skinned and sometimes sensitive little Black girl, I could never shake the feeling from my bones that my pain might be viewed as inconsequential to the very people who were supposed to provide medical care to me.
AsI remember watching movies about how the U. Department of Public Health experimented on Black war veterans by withholding syphilis treatment without informed consent. Later, I learned about white doctors testing the first gynecological instruments on enslaved Black women without anesthesia and using Black cells for groundbreaking HeLa cancer research without consent.
I sat down to talk to Black patients of all ages about their racist experiences in healthcare. Some of them wish to remain anonymous due to the stigma of openly discussing mental health, while others work in the healthcare industry and fear professional backlash. Here are their stories. Due to the professional risk of speaking out, she asked that her name be changed. Maya asked for a recommendation from the lead doctor she had worked with for 3 years and got a yes.
Once Maya got the job, which was a per diem temporary position, the woman who hired her let her know that her reference might not be ideal. Is she smart? Does she work hard?
The second doctor in the residency, a Black male, applied for a per diem job at the same clinic where the residency took place. The lead doctor wanted him to interview, even though she worked side by side with him for 3 years. While she reluctantly recommended Maya and required the other Black doctor to interview, the same doctor went out of her way to create a job for the third resident, a white male medical student.
Per diem jobs are temporary, have no guaranteed hours, and benefits are rarely provided.
In fact, in only 5 percent of medical doctors were Black, with Black women representing just 2 percent of all medical doctors. Currently, just 7 percent of medical school students are Black. This lack of racial representation is coupled with long-standing beliefs about who deserves to occupy space as medical authorities. In turn, this causes doctors of all races to distrust that future or current Black doctors deserve professional opportunities, even if they are smart and hardworking like Maya. For many Black medical professionals, there is an White geek seeks black woman in knowing whether your colleagues and superiors will support you or sabotage you because of your race.
She shares what it was like having her labor pains doubted by doctors, an experience that contributes to the death of Black mothers at 3 to 4 times the rate of white mothers. When a midwife performed a check, it turned out Maya was actually more dilated than the doctors had thought. According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionBlack babies are twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white, Asian, or Hispanic babies.
This is on top of the demoralization caused by lack of access to the social determinants of healthlike quality foods, healthcare, and insurance. Fortunately, many Black mothers are taking zero chances with doctors who may be racist. A study found that when Black babies are treated by Black doctors, their chances of surviving are nearly doubled. A few days later, several of his peers tested positive for mono. He saw the discrepancy when he compared his experience of having to return to the student clinic and then visit the emergency room on his own to that of his white classmates.
Morgan, 27, shares her experience of an anti-Black microaggression from a doctor. When Morgan, 27, moved from Massachusetts to California, she noticed some surprising and unwanted side effects in the form of rosacea flare-ups, dry skin, and breakouts. Her story highlights an important point: This kind of anti-Black attitude is pervasive. Erika, 56, recalls an experience early in her adulthood when she saw a doctor for a routine breast exam. He said I would probably have breast cancer because my breasts were very large, and they had fatty tissue.
She felt even more marginalized as a young Black woman seeking care in a majority white field. It was over two years before she would visit the gynecologist again. Even though she felt in her gut the doctor was wrong, Iyana listened. Still, she adjusted her medication on her own, taking less than what he told her to take. Due to a lack of trust, Iyana felt the need to adjust her medication in secret. This can be dangerous. A study on racial microaggressions in racially charged patient-provider interactions indicates implicit bias against Black patients.
Everyone interviewed shared that having Black doctors was a more empowering and humanizing experience than being treated by non-Black doctors. Research confirms that Black patients experience fewer microaggressions, discrimination, and anxiety from Black White geek seeks black woman than from non-Black doctors. Bless her! I got you. You got a Black therapist? Erika had a similar encounter with a Black doctor. The weight of anti-Black medical racism can seem insurmountable for doctors and Black patients alike.
There are achievable actions that can ensure that Black lives matter and are medically treated that way. Maya suggests doctors take extra time to consider the life circumstances of their Black patients.
Take the whole person into consideration. How far away are they from a grocery store? Is there fresh produce available? What is their living situation? Get a detailed history. A lot of times Black patients want to give [doctors] a lot of chances — no! She adds that if you have a hunch you need a particular test, you have a right to demand it and call in support.
While strides are being made, we still have a long way to go before Black people receive the medical care they need. Black people deserve to have their experiences validated, their feelings respected, and their bodies treated with real care. Zahida Sherman is a diversity and inclusion professional who writes about culture, race, gender, and adulthood. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. The relationship people have with their bodies is more complex than their Instagram caption or photo.
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