Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Best Practices for Clinical Care and Medical Education in the 21st Century

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-09-14 18:21Z by Steven

Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Best Practices for Clinical Care and Medical Education in the 21st Century

University of Texas, Austin
2013-09-23 through 2013-09-24

One of the primary goals of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and many public health programs is the reduction of health disparities in the United States. However, significant racial/ethnic disparities persist in the prevalence of disease, access to medical care, quality of care, and health outcomes for the most common causes of death (including cardiovascular and lung disease, infectious disease, cancer, diabetes, and accidents). At this conference, nationally-recognized speakers will discuss the causes of such disparities and describe new approaches in clinical care and medical education that improve care, achieve better health outcomes, and reduce racial/ethnic health disparities. We will also discuss how these best practices can be incorporated into medical training at the new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas and at other medical schools around the country. One key goal of this conference is to help design a cutting-edge curriculum that will better prepare medical students to meet the challenges and opportunities of 21st century medicine.

Conference registration is open to anyone interested in attending this event. See the Continuing Medical Education (CME) tab for information regarding continuing education for the September 23rd portion of the conference.

The second day of the conference (September 24) is open to invited participants only. Discussions and working groups on the second day will focus on developing new pedagogical approaches and innovative learning modules for the pre-clinical curriculum at the Dell Medical School, with the goal of more effectively integrating training on human genomic variation, race/ethnicity, health disparities, and social/environmental determinants of health into the medical curriculum.


For more information, click here.

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Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism by John Hoberman [Matt Wood Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2013-03-16 16:55Z by Steven

Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism by John Hoberman [Matt Wood Review]

TriQuarterly: a journal of writing, art, and cultural inquiry from Northwestern University

Matt Wood, Book Review Editor

We’ve heard the statistics on black and white mortality rates in the United States. Black infants are up to three times as likely to die as babies of other races. Black patients have lower survival rates from cancer and are hospitalized twice as often as whites for preventable conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

How does this happen in the twenty-first century, when a black man is the president of the United States and three of the last four surgeons general have been black? Why do whites receive more potentially lifesaving cardiac procedures than blacks? Why are black patients less likely to have cancer surgery recommended to them? Why are black patients with diabetes and circulatory problems more likely to have limbs amputated?

Racism, says John Hoberman. In his scathing book Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism, he documents how the racial prejudices of the larger American society have influenced the diagnosis and treatment of black patients over the past century, and how those practices continue today. The book is a relentless and thoroughly researched account of racial discrimination by the largely white medical establishment, composed of medical school faculty, editorial boards of scientific journals, and professional associations such as the American Medical Association that develop medical school curricula and influence decisions about research. While Hoberman offers an unsatisfying solution to these problems, the book is thorough enough to make anyone—physician, layperson, black, white—question his or her own racial prejudices and assumptions…

…Hoberman calls this “racialization,” or using pseudoscientific rationales to define racial differences in physiology. The idea that blacks are more primitive human beings than whites stemmed from the same historical racist ideas that European colonizers used to justify black African slavery. This later developed into subtler stereotyping. Conditions associated with the stresses of modern “civilized” life were labeled “white.” Whites supposedly suffered more from myopia and other vision problems caused by the strain of reading too much. White businessmen were prone to digestive problems and ulcers because they shouldered “the burdens and responsibilities of administration and management in business and politics.” Blacks, on the other hand, supposedly possessed an innate physical “hardiness” that made them less susceptible to these “white” diseases. Instead, they were allegedly prone to sexually transmitted infections, drug abuse, and alcoholism because of their “careless” and “primitive” lifestyles. Hoberman points out a classic example of endometriosis. As late as 1950, some doctors believed that it occurred only in white women, because they assumed sexually transmitted diseases were the source of any gynecological problems in black women…

Read the entire review here.

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Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-03-15 20:24Z by Steven

Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism

University of California Press
April 2012
304 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780520274013
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520248908

John Hoberman

Black & Blue is the first systematic description of how American doctors think about racial differences and how this kind of thinking affects the treatment of their black patients. The standard studies of medical racism examine past medical abuses of black people and do not address the racially motivated thinking and behaviors of physicians practicing medicine today.

Black & Blue penetrates the physician’s private sphere where racial fantasies and misinformation distort diagnoses and treatments. Doctors have always absorbed the racial stereotypes and folkloric beliefs about racial differences that permeate the general population. Within the world of medicine this racial folklore has infiltrated all of the medical sub-disciplines, from cardiology to gynecology to psychiatry. Doctors have thus imposed white or black racial identities upon every organ system of the human body, along with racial interpretations of black children, the black elderly, the black athlete, black musicality, black pain thresholds, and other aspects of black minds and bodies. The American medical establishment does not readily absorb either historical or current information about medical racism. For this reason, racial enlightenment will not reach medical schools until the current race-aversive curricula include new historical and sociological perspectives.


  • Acknowledgments
    • Introduction
    • “Avoidance and Evasion”
    • Judging How Physicians Behave
    • Judging Physician Conduct: Privacy and the “Halo Effect”
    • The Oral Tradition
    • Physicians Share the Racial Attitudes of Their Fellow Citizens
    • The Medical Liberals
    • The African American Health Calamity: The Silence
    • Medical Vulnerability and Racial Defamation
    • How Do (White) Physicians Think about Race?
    • Evidence or Medical Racism
    • Resistance to the Critique of Racial Bias in Medicine
    • Medical Liberalism and the Medical Literature
    • The Physician’s Private Sphere
    • Playing Anthropologist
    • From Racial Folklore to Racial Medicine
    • Racial Interpretations of Human Types and Traits
      • Introduction
      • Racial Interpretations of Black Infants and Children
      • Racial Interpretations of the Black Elderly
      • Racial Interpretations of the Black Athlete
      • Racial Interpretations of Black Musical Aptitude
      • Racial Interpretations of Losing Consciousness
      • Racial Interpretations of the Nervous System
      • Racial Interpretations of Pain Sensitivity
      • Racial Interpretations of Heart Disease
    • Racial Interpretations of Human Organs and Disorders
      • Racial Interpretations of the Eyes
      • Racial Interpretations of Black Skin
      • Racial Interpretations of Human Teeth
      • Racial Interpretations of “While” and “Black” Disorders
      • Black “Hardiness”
      • Physical Hardiness
      • Emotional Hardiness
      • Conclusion: How Human Organ Systems Acquire Racial Identities
    • Racial Folklore in Medical Specialties
      • A Century of Racial Pharmacology: From Racial Folklore to Racial Genetics
      • The Role of Racial Folklore in Obstetrics and Gynecology during the Twentieth Century
    • Introduction
    • “Africanizing” the Black Image
    • American Psychiatry as Racial Medicine
    • The Racial Primitive in American Psychiatry
    • The Task of Black Psychiatry
    • Colonial Medical Status
    • Introduction
    • The Doctor-Patient Relationship
    • The Problem Patient
    • Medical Authors’ Aversion to Race
    • Race and Medical Education: The Search for “Cultural Competence”
    • Two Official Versions of “Cultural Competence”
    • Physicians’ Beliefs about Racial Differences: A (Belated) Study
    • A Medical Curriculum on Race
    • Practical Advice for Physicians
    • Social Class, Misdiagnoses, and Therapeutic Fatalism
    • “Cultural Competence” as Knowledge of Stereotype Systems
    • Raceless Humanism: “Medical Humanities” and the Evasion of Difference
    • Medical Curriculum Change Is Possible: The Case of Abortion Training
  • Notes
  • Index
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