Patient Perspectives: Understanding healthcare equity as a provider, patient, or person of color
From representation reflected in specialties of medical professionals, to balance within clinical trials, health equity is an ongoing evolution.
We have a ways to go. We've come a long way, but we still have many, many steps that we have to get till we truly
achieve health equity. [MUSIC PLAYING]
There was a 2020 study that found that up to 23% of people living with hepatitis C
were actually Black Americans. However, we know from the clinical trials that that's not who's actually being represented.
As we move forward, we should then begin to see a change in representation
in the medical literature now that transparency is going to be more of an expectation. What do you feel like is the biggest bucket?
That if we, at the end of this call, could actually come up with solutions, what would it target? One of the greatest challenges that I see, especially
in the field of gastroenterology where only 4% of gastroenterologists are actually Black gastroenterologists, is representation.
I didn't even realize how rare it was for me to be in the field of gastroenterology until the patients would come in and tell me, you know,
we have never seen a Black gastroenterologist. Wow. And they would also follow by saying that no one has ever
explained to them, the way that I'm able to communicate with them, their disease process. Outcomes improve when there is representation
that we should be reflective of our communities, that and from a cultural standpoint and from a trust standpoint,
it's important that we have appropriate representation across various specialties in medicine.
And so that's one of the biggest-- the biggest barriers is really that lack of representation.
We know with this pandemic, very early on, it was-- it was heavily announced that the risk factors of having
worse outcomes would be if you have preexisting conditions, if you're older, and if you're a racial minority group.
And you two ladies check two of those three boxes. How has that made you feel? Did it make you feel isolated?
Did it make you feel targeted? How's that made you feel in the process of this pandemic? I didn't see other women of color around me
that were dealing with the same things. The biggest thing is that there shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all in reference to that when it comes
to diagnosis and treatment. It's very difficult to navigate when you first, have no one that is experiencing what you're experiencing,
and then secondly, when there's not an understanding just based off of differences. The representation for me took a different turn in the fact
that I'm young. I was only 18 years old. I was trying to figure out how I was going to go to college and work full-time and be
able to kind of navigate having a social life. But there was no information out there for that. And now, when I look at my community that, you know,
I've become a part of, it's gigantic, and there's just a lot more resources now, a lot more representation, and I feel
like having younger doctors kind of gives them a better perspective of how important it
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