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RACIAL DISPARITIES
  RACIAL DISPARITIES
An Edtorial by Susan Adelman, MD
An Edtorial by Susan Adelman, MD
 "WE DO NOT NEED
SENSITIVITY
TRAINING AS MUCH
AS WE NEED "WE DO NOT NEED
IMPROVED LOCAL SENSITIVITY
EDUCATION AND TRAINING AS MUCH
OTHER VITAL AS WE NEED
SERVICES." IMPROVED LOCAL
EDUCATION AND OTHER VITAL SERVICES."
  Covid 19 has shown a disturbing tendency to affect the Black population more severely than thewhitepopulation. MoreBlacksaredyinginproportiontothepopulationthanwhites,and, atthesametime,smallminority-ownedbusinessesaregoingunder. Inpartstimulatedbythis double-whammy, restless youthful crowds have thronged the streets to protest long-standing grievances.
Nowwehaveplungedintoanationaldiscussionofracialinjusticeanddisparities. Evenworse, wearedeepintothepoliticsofcomingelections.Finger-pointingisrampant. Wehearcallsevery- where to fire anyone ever caught on tape or video while saying something intolerant or insulting to any minority community. Companies and professions all over are paying big bucks for experts to conduct sensitivity training sessions. Soon these sessions could be required for a job or
a license.
It would be useful to look for a moment at how racial disparities come about, what can be done aboutthem,whenandbywhom. Fromthepointofviewofthosewhoaremostdisadvantaged, what would help them the most is to become less disadvantaged, not to have sensitivity trainees in a conference room shake their heads sadly that something is wrong with the system.
So,whatshouldbetheroleofthemedicalprofessioninaddressingthesedisparities? Overthe years, the profession has made a considerable effort to bring more Black students into medical schools,intoresidenciesandthentobehiredbygrouporhospitalpractices. Ifwelookatthere- sultsoftheseefforts,wefindthatoftentheywereinadequate. Thatmeansweneedtotakeagood hard look at what works, what does not work, and what else needs to be done in order to effect the desiredresult. Perhapsrecruitmentandpreparationneedtostartinhighschool,maybemiddle school. Perhapsencouragementtogotomedicalornursingschoolneedstocomefromchurches orcommunityorganizations. Thecommunityitselfprobablycanthinkofmany
more ideas.
Whataboutthehealthcareitself? AreBlacksmorepoorlytreatedthanwhites? Letuslookin terms of respect. One would have to admit that we as a profession have become so casual in our termsofaddressthatwearealmostuniformlydisrespectful. Whenaclerkcallsmetogobackto
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  8 Detroit Medical News
Third Quarter 2020












































































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