Transforming health care for everyone inspired, Building Bridges by MassAFP. This initiative helps you confront health disparities to improve the health of all people. You’ll find education and resources to advocate for health equity, promote workforce diversity, and collaborate with other disciplines and organizations to advance health equity.
Recent events have exposed two separate but related global public health crises of systemic racism. The COVID-19 pandemic in its devastation has shown a spotlight on underlying racial health disparities, as black people continue to suffer the most severe complications of this disease, and this burden reflects the inequities in socioeconomics as well as health care itself. Simultaneously, several episodes of police brutality against blacks have also brought into focus the issue of systemic racism in law enforcement.
Tour for Diversity in Medicine
Conceived by former medical student leaders, Tour for Diversity in Medicine is a grassroots effort to educate, inspire, and cultivate future minority physicians and dentists. Current trends in racial and ethnic health care disparities are widely documented and a major focus of many recent federal and state health policy changes. One frequently discussed solution is the need to increase the number of minority providers.
Health Disparities and Equity
Healthcare disparities are defined by the Institute of Medicine as “racial or ethnic differences in the quality of healthcare that are not due to access-related factors or clinical needs, preferences, and appropriateness of intervention.” Health care disparities have significant economic consequences for the health care system, and in turn, for the business of medicine.
How to Identify, Understand, and Unlearn Implicit Bias in Patient Care
Implicit bias is the unconscious collection of stereotypes and attitudes that we develop toward certain groups of people, which can affect our patient relationships and care decisions. You can overcome implicit bias by first discovering your blind spots and then actively working to dismiss stereotypes and attitudes that affect your interactions. While individual action is helpful, organizations and institutions must also work to eliminate systemic problems.