Shortage of Black Doctors harms public health [Barrier: Physician Shortage, Access to Health Literacy, Inequity in Health Care]

In this CNN article from February 2023, entitled Only 5.7% of US doctors are Black, and experts warn the shortage harms public health, many barriers to public health are highlighted. The article highlights the work of Seun Adebagbo, a third-year medical student in Massachusetts, who was born in Nigeria and grew up in Boston. She states, “I know what to ask for on the patient side if I’m worried about something for myself. But then also, for my parents and my family. Because the way you have to move in the system as a Black person is very different, especially if you’re coming from a background where you don’t have family members that are doctors, you don’t know anyone in your periphery that went into medicine.”

The article discusses the many layers of barriers that patients encounter as they navigate the health care system. “There’s plenty of evidence, and other research has shown that the more the workforce in a health care setting really reflects the community it serves, the more open the patient population is to recommendations and instructions from their doctor,” said Dr. Mahshid Abir, an emergency physician and a senior physician policy researcher at the RAND Corp., a nonpartisan research institution.

Published by Sarah Buckius

Artist & Educator living in Santa Cruz, CA.

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