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Patient Doesn’t Understand His Diagnosis Until Black Doctor Steps In, Shows ‘Why We Need More Black Men In Medicine’
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Social Issues3 years ago

Patient Doesn’t Understand His Diagnosis Until Black Doctor Steps In, Shows ‘Why We Need More Black Men In Medicine’

When you meet with your doctor you have a certain expectation in your head, that after 4 years of undergrad and 3-7 years of residency experience this person will be able to help me. But for black men in America, this is not always the case.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention black men have the lowest life expectancy of any ethnic group in the United States. The reasons vary from high incarceration rates to barriers to medical care access, but even before they are sick black men struggle with receiving preventative care. One study shows that a large reason for this chasm in service is due to a lack of good communication between a patient and the doctor. Black male patients are more likely to discuss their problems and concerns with black doctors and, black doctors are more likely to write additional observations about their black patients.

A black doctor took to write about this serious problem in a Twitter thread. He explained in detail an exchange he had with a black patient, which highlighted exactly why diversity in the medical field is so necessary. The user, @Oga_DoctorBlue was able to identify his patient’s facial expressions and code-switch (the “process of shifting from one linguistic code (a language or dialect) to another, depending on the social context or conversational setting”) in order to better communicate and meet the man’s needs.

Even with increased efforts for diversity in some schools, the numbers for black men applicants in medical school has remained stagnant since 1978.

Scroll down below to read this very important thread and let us know your thoughts in the comments! (Cover image: sixoone)

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

Image credits: Oga_DoctorBlue

The user that shared the thread on Imgur explained how this diversity lesson applied to other fields like teaching

People in the comments were thankful for the thread and shared other forms of diversity that is lacking

Image credits: CoachPrawn

Image credits: Jeanjeanniepa

Image credits: Helene_SWCP

Image credits: AShettle

Image credits: flamingginge

Image credits: KimTruthMatters

Image credits: KimTruthMatters

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Doodlebug
Community Member
3 years ago

Here in Canada, we desperately need indigenous (Native) doctors, AND nurses, AND other medical staff. The way indigenous Canadians are STILL being treated by people the health care system is horrific. In my region, we have a doctor shortage problem. Yet the last 10 times I have heard about a new doctor moving here, they are a white South African doctor who can afford to buy a practice from a retiring doctor. And yes, many of do them bring their colonialist attitudes. The problem is - how do you get people into medical school when their poverty is so great? Seems like only well-off people can afford to even dream about being a doctor one day.

Alib
Community Member
3 years ago

It's not just medicine; we need indigenous people in SO many fields. But medicine is certainly one of the most important because our health is everything.

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Carol Harrison
Community Member
3 years ago

I see a wonderful doctor. She is a woman of color, I am white. When we talk, there is no difference in how we communicate. I was in the waiting room when she greeted her next patient, another woman of color. The doctor's entire demeanor changed. She said "Hey girl" and continued a conversation with a very different tone. I actually loved that she adapted to who she was with. I don't know which one was the real her, but I think it was both.

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
3 years ago

Here's the fundamental error in this story: People are assuming that they have to share some traits with their doctor to ensure they are taken notice of. What is actually true is that you need the right doctor that properly cares about people's problems, which has absolutely nothing to do with their colour, gender, sexuality or whatever.

Load More Comments
Doodlebug
Community Member
3 years ago

Here in Canada, we desperately need indigenous (Native) doctors, AND nurses, AND other medical staff. The way indigenous Canadians are STILL being treated by people the health care system is horrific. In my region, we have a doctor shortage problem. Yet the last 10 times I have heard about a new doctor moving here, they are a white South African doctor who can afford to buy a practice from a retiring doctor. And yes, many of do them bring their colonialist attitudes. The problem is - how do you get people into medical school when their poverty is so great? Seems like only well-off people can afford to even dream about being a doctor one day.

Alib
Community Member
3 years ago

It's not just medicine; we need indigenous people in SO many fields. But medicine is certainly one of the most important because our health is everything.

Load More Replies...
Carol Harrison
Community Member
3 years ago

I see a wonderful doctor. She is a woman of color, I am white. When we talk, there is no difference in how we communicate. I was in the waiting room when she greeted her next patient, another woman of color. The doctor's entire demeanor changed. She said "Hey girl" and continued a conversation with a very different tone. I actually loved that she adapted to who she was with. I don't know which one was the real her, but I think it was both.

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
3 years ago

Here's the fundamental error in this story: People are assuming that they have to share some traits with their doctor to ensure they are taken notice of. What is actually true is that you need the right doctor that properly cares about people's problems, which has absolutely nothing to do with their colour, gender, sexuality or whatever.

Load More Comments
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