Why we need more black doctors in medicine
When you meet with your doctor you have a certain expectation in your head, that after 4 years of undergrad and 3-7 years of residency experience this person will be able to help me. But for black men in America, this is not always the case.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention black men have the lowest life expectancy of any ethnic group in the United States. The reasons vary from high incarceration rates to barriers to health care access, but even before they are sick black men struggle with receiving preventative care. One study shows that a large reason for this chasm in service is due to a lack of patient-doctor communication. Black male patients are more likely to discuss their problems and concerns with black doctors and, black doctors are more likely to write additional observations about their black patients.
A black doctor took to Twitter to write about this serious problem in a thread. He explained in detail an exchange he had with a black patient, which highlighted exactly why diversity in the medical field is so necessary. The user, @Oga_DoctorBlue was able to identify his patient’s facial expressions and code-switch (the “process of shifting from one linguistic code (a language or dialect) to another, depending on the social context or conversational setting”) in order to better communicate and meet the man’s needs.
Even with increased efforts for diversity in some schools, the numbers for black men applicants in medical school has remained stagnant since 1978.
Scroll down below to read this very important thread and let us know your thoughts in the comments!