The selected article for this discussion is “Reducing Racial Health Care Disparities: A Social Psychological Analysis” by Louis Penner, Irene Blair, Terrance Albrecht, and John Dovidio. Within the past six decades, the United States’ health sector has recorded positive achievements such as reduced mortality rates and improved medical outcomes. However, the authors of the above article indicate that pervasive disparities continue to exist between Black Americans and Whites. For example, African Americans have been observed to have around 20 percent higher death rates than those of Whites (Penner, Blair, Albrecht, & Dovidio, 2014). This predicament associated with increased levels of racial bias has resulted in poorer health outcomes in the country. Evidence has suggested that the decisions and perceptions made by many physicians and caregivers tend to create disparities in the provision of health care. The article offers several reasons to explain why racial bias has remained a major challenge in the targeted sector. The authors indicate that any form of discrimination makes it impossible for practitioners to establish meaningful communication channels with targeted citizens. Consequently, the disoriented provider-patient relationship has continued to affect the health outcomes of many people in the United States. The article also reveals that implicit bias portrayed by many physicians discourages many citizens from minority races from seeking adequate medical support. It is therefore evident that this kind of malpractice is against the existing code of conduct for clinicians and physicians (Mathur, Richeson, Paice, Muzyka, & Chiao, 2014). The misbehavior has been used to explain why the level of professionalism exhibited by many medical professionals has reduced significantly.
We will write a custom Article on Racial Health Disparities: Legal and Economic Issues specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The authors have gone further to examine and analyze different solutions that have been implemented to reduce this kind of disparity. The first one has been for physicians to offer services without focusing on the race of the targeted patient. The second approach revolves around the use of an effective strategy to transform the country’s healthcare delivery system. Unfortunately, such initiatives have been counterproductive. This means that evidence-based strategies can be implemented in an attempt to deal with the current disparities making it impossible for many citizens to receive timely and high-quality medical services. Penner et al. (2014) encourage healthcare professionals to minimize disparities by promoting patient-centered care delivery and communication systems. Individuals seeking medical services should also be encouraged to embrace the power of self-affirmation practices. Additionally, the use of relational communication can ensure that positive patient-physician alliances are established in every medical facility. Standardizing treatment is something that has the potential to minimize racial disparities (Penner et al., 2014). This is true since the gathered information will be used to support the emerging health needs of all people and ensure that timely care delivery decisions are made.
The above article has shown conclusively that medical disparity is a major problem facing the United States’ healthcare sector. This means that there is a need for communities and state agencies to develop appropriate measures in an attempt to minimize racial bias. Physicians, clinicians, and health decision-makers should collaborate and focus on the best approaches to meet the diverse needs of all citizens. The persistence of health disparity in the country should encourage stakeholders to identify emerging ideas that can improve the level of medical professionalism and empower more citizens to achieve their potential.
Mathur, V. A., Richeson, J. A., Paice, J. A., Muzyka, M., & Chiao, J. Y. (2014). Racial bias in pain perception and response: Experimental examination of automatic and deliberate processes. The Journal of Pain, 15(5), 476-484. Web.
Penner, L. A., Blair, I. V., Albrecht, T. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (2014). Reducing racial health care disparities: A social psychological analysis. Health and Well-Being: Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1(1), 204-212. Web.