One in four Black adults age 60 and over have reported experiencing racial discrimination from health professionals in their lifetime.
Dealing with discriminatory and dehumanizing laws and policies, as well as being treated in a racist manner by individuals, is a fact of life for Black folks in the United States. The long-term health effects of prejudice and oppression range from higher rates of chronic diseases to higher infant and maternal mortality rates — and it’s not a secret that this is the case. The impact of racism on health is so well known in medical circles that in 2020 the American Academy of Family Physicians wrote a letter to the White House saying that “it is time for the United States to officially recognize racism as a public health issue.
So what happens when the very healthcare system that acknowledges the negative health effects of racism further perpetuates the social evil Black folks are trying to heal from?
A new report from the Commonwealth Fund reveals that doctors’ offices and other healthcare providers don’t always treat Black people with dignity and respect.