Systemic racism against Black people is a serious problem in the United States. When many people think of racism, they automatically think of police violence or discrimination when it comes to getting jobs or applying for mortgages. The unfortunate fact is that there’s also racism against Black people when it comes to receiving good medical care, and inequality in the U.S. medical system is literally destroying lives.
Medical care is often subpar for Black people
Many studies have shown that medical care for Black people pales in comparison to medical care for white people. Some low-income Black people don’t have access to quality medical care, relying instead on substandard assistance when it comes to issues like diagnosing illnesses or receiving the proper treatment.
Illnesses sometimes present differently on Black skin
Unfortunately, even when Black people do have access to good quality care, they still run the risk of having a diagnosis that is not up to acceptable medical standards simply because doctors are not always aware of the differences in how Black skin reacts to certain diseases and illnesses versus white skin. For instance, eczema on white skin may present differently than eczema on dark skin. This inability to spot differences can lead to incorrect medical diagnoses. A Black patient could risk being prescribed the wrong medication, or they may not be alerted to a potentially serious issue simply because of medical ineptitude.
Fixing the system from the ground up
Solutions for discrepancies in medical care can be pretty straightforward: Training doctors and nurses to recognize the way certain illnesses present on darker skin may help save lives. In addition to improving clinical skills, doctors can also be taught to communicate better with patients who have different lifestyles and cultural backgrounds from them. Better communication between doctors and patients can result in a win-win for all.
Patients who have experienced serious medical problems as a result of an inexperienced, incapable or uninterested medical professional may be looking for help pursuing medical malpractice cases. These people may benefit by working with law firms that have experience in this area. Medical malpractice combined with racial discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, is something that an experienced attorney may be able to address.