Black and Hispanic communities say doctors and hospitals treat them differently than their white counterparts

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As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, putting Black and Hispanic patients at enormous risk of hospitalization and death, new research suggests just how strained the doctor-patient relationship can be in minority communities. Nearly a third (30%) of black patients in California and 13% of Hispanic patients feel that their healthcare provider has viewed and treated them differently because of their skin color or ethnicity. Only 3% of white patients felt the same way.

Nineteen percent of black patients believed they couldn’t get the treatment they needed because of their race, while nine percent of Hispanic patients believed the same. One percent of white patients agreed with that. Black and Hispanic patients said, in a higher proportion than white patients, that they were treated differently because of their income and their insurance company. That’s according to a study published this week by the American Academy of Family Physicians, which delved into the barriers that prevent strong doctor-patient relationships – links that can allow for frank conversation and patient confidence about treatment. in delicate medical matters. Patients who did not have a primary care provider were far more distrustful than those who did, according to researchers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Such perceptions do not appear to be unfounded. In November, members of the American Medical Association, a professional organization, recognized that while different health outcomes may occur due to structural racism in the health care system, “racism and unconscious prejudice within medical research and health care delivery have caused and continue to cause harm to underserved communities and to society as a whole. “Finding ways to end perception is crucial, the authors of the latest report said.” Perceived discrimination correlates with medical mistrust “They wrote. If perception actually breeds mistrust,” then reducing such discrimination can improve trust in physicians and reduce disparities in health outcomes. “Researchers surveyed more than 2,300 patients in 2019, long before the start. But the stakes for building a better bond are higher than ever. In the first half of 2020 alone, black and Hispanic patients made up 58% of all people hospitalized with coronavirus and 53% of people who died from the virus, according to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine. and Duke University School of Medicine. As of Wednesday, the United States has 22.86 million cases and 381,130 deaths, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, polls suggest that many people in black and Hispanic communities are wary of a COVID-19 vaccine, reflecting broader hesitation. In a fall survey of African Americans, 14% said the vaccine would be safe and 18% said it would work. In the same study, 34% of Hispanic Americans surveyed said the vaccine would be safe and 40% said it would be effective. While researchers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science focused on the doctor-patient relationship, ongoing research by the RAND Corporation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been looking at people’s broader attitudes about the race and public health during the pandemic. After publishing a first round of poll results in October, the second round came out on Wednesday. The survey sample of more than 4,000 people is overrepresented with African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans. From the first wave of results to the most recent, attitudes about race and public health have largely remained unchanged. In both waves of results, essentially 50% of the survey participants agreed with the statement that “racism is a public health crisis.” Slightly more people agreed with the statement that more people of color dying from COVID-19 was “just another example of racial injustice in this country.” Those who agreed rose to 38%, from nearly 36%.