Tests of trainee doctors find signs of race bias in care
By Stephen Smith

Deeply imbedded attitudes about race influence the way doctors care for their African- American patients, according to a Harvard study that for the first time details how unconscious bias contributes to inferior care.

Researchers have known for years that African-Americans in the midst of a heart attack are far less likely than white patients to receive potentially life-saving treatments such as clot-busting drugs, a dramatic illustration of America's persistent healthcare disparities. But the reasons behind such stark gaps in care for heart disease, as well as cancer and other serious illnesses, have remained murky, with blame fixed on doctors, hospitals, and insurance plans.

In the new study, trainee doctors in Boston and Atlanta took a 20-minute computer survey designed to detect overt and implicit prejudice. They were also presented with the hypothetical case of a 50-year-old man stricken with sharp chest pain; in some scenarios the man was white, while in others he was black.

"We found that as doctors' unconscious biases against blacks increased, their likelihood of giving [clot-busting] treatment decreased," said the lead author of the study, Dr. Alexander R. Green of Massachusetts General Hospital. "It's not a matter of you being a racist. It's really a matter of the way your brain processes information is influenced by things you've seen, things you've experienced, the way media has presented things."
To read the rest of the article, click here

Are gospel/Christ-centered Christians (who are doctors) immune to these type of beliefs and practices? If not, how should we as Christians think about equitable and dignified healthcare attitudes/practices in America?