A recent survey conducted by health research organization KFF has revealed concerning disparities in #healthcare experiences among people of color in the #UnitedStates. Based on responses from nearly 6,300 adults, the study found that while many individuals reported positive interactions with their healthcare providers, there were significant racial and ethnic differences in healthcare treatment.
Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native adults were more likely than their white counterparts to report negative interactions during healthcare visits. These included instances where providers did not listen, answer questions, or prescribe necessary pain medication. For example, twice as many Black women reported being denied pain medication compared to white women, reflecting a long-standing issue of unequal pain management.
Additionally, at least a quarter of people of color felt that doctors were less likely to involve them in healthcare decisions. Some respondents shared stories of their concerns being initially dismissed, only to discover serious health conditions later.
To cope with potential mistreatment, respondents of color mentioned taking precautions before healthcare visits, such as dressing carefully or mentally preparing for possible insults. Six in ten Black respondents said they were cautious about their appearance or expected insults during healthcare interactions.
Notably, individuals of color reported more positive interactions when their healthcare providers shared their racial or ethnic background, emphasizing the importance of diversity in the healthcare workforce. However, Black and Hispanic doctors remain underrepresented relative to the population.
The study is the first in a series exploring the impacts of racism and discrimination, highlighting the need for improved healthcare equity and diversity.
The KFF survey outcomes highlight the pervasive racial disparities within our healthcare system, and sadly, these findings come as no surprise to many. It is disheartening that people of color in the United States continue to expect racism during medical appointments, reflecting a deeply entrenched issue.