Recognizing and Overcoming Racial Disparities in Healthcare
All Americans should have equal opportunities to pursue a healthy lifestyle, but research reveals that’s not always the case. Millennium Physician Group Family Medicine Physician Chantel Jacobs explains why the color of your skin shouldn’t affect the quality of your care.
“Certain health disparities, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, these are all prevalent within the Black community,” she explains.
In fact, recent studies have shown that despite the improvements in the overall health of the country, racial and ethnic minorities experience a lower quality of healthcare and are less likely to receive routine medical care.
“And unfortunately, many of the reasons why are out of the control of the patient,” admits Dr. Jacobs. “So such as not having great access to healthcare or if they do have access to healthcare, it’s very limited.”
Dr. Jacobs goes on to explain that in other cases, patients simply don’t feel comfortable with their physician.
“If they don’t feel comfortable with their doctor, it makes it difficult for them to actually be honest with their doctor.”
According to the Pew Research Center, 31% of Black adults say they would strongly prefer to see a Black healthcare provider for their routine medical care.
“All I want to do is give them the best treatment possible,” says Dr. Jacobs. “Help them understand how their body works, help them to get on good meal plans, so that they can help lose weight and help with their diabetes and high blood pressure and their high cholesterol. Many of them don’t have access to even simple information as to, ‘Okay, what diet should I have?’ So it’s my job to make sure that they have access to all that knowledge so that they stay as healthy as possible.”
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