Victor S. Sloan, MD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Sloan V.; Do Race and Ethnicity Play a Substantial Role in the Quality of Care That Patients Receive in the U.S. Health Care System?. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150:60. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-150-1-200901060-00020
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(1):60.
As Dr. Hegedus points out, our health care system is indeed broken. With more than 40 million U.S. residents lacking health insurance, one could hardly argue that point. However, although all U.S. residents are subject to the same broken system, several studies demonstrate that minorities have worse health outcomes. The Institute of Medicine (1) notes that in most studies, differences in care are present even after controlling for other confounding factors. There is ample evidence of racial and ethnic differences in cardiac care (2), cancer care (3), and diabetes (4). Perhaps more important, many physicians erroneously believe that race or ethnicity does not play a substantial role in the quality of care patients receive (2).
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