Has Racism Infiltrated Hospitals?

By: Pooja Raghuram and Oliver Malkowski


The Doctor’s Promise

The Hippocratic Oath, an oath of ethics historically taken by physicians, states that they should treat those who are ill to the best of their ability. However, in the light of recent events, studies show that this is currently not the case. In fact, studies show that there is a disproportionately high mortality rate for African American babies when cared for by white doctors. This is the first piece of evidence to suggest that both a physician’s race and the patient’s race affects how well the job is performed.


Racism at Its Peak

Data collected from hospitals in Florida suggest that newborn African American babies are three times as likely to die when cared for by white physicians. On the other hand, when they are cared for by African American physicians, the mortality rate for newborn babies decreased by 50%. These statistics are starting to build pressure on medical schools to educate students that it is a doctor’s duty to help everyone regardless of the patient’s background or race. Racism is playing a role even during what is supposed to be one of the happiest moments in one’s life. Why is the background of a patient suddenly being taken into consideration when a doctor is caring for them?


What is the Impact?

The fact that discrimination is even happening in hospitals is a major concern. It is impractical for African American families to seek out only African American physicians. The change needs to occur in our mindset. Simply put, we are all humans and race should not factor into our views of each other. So where do we go from here?





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