Can we talk race and healthcare?

As we have discussed in other class sessions and reading, racism often occurs unintentionally potentiated by unconscious prejudice and stereotypes. To the extent that many people are unaware of their biases, there is little motivation for change.

As a healthcare provider, I have worked in predominately white owned practices privately and publicly and have found that not only do minorities and others marginalized groups receive among other treatments, substandard medical and nursing care, but that often time racism is the fuel motivating the delivery of such care. Often times patients of color are unable to effectively voice these sentiments due to stereotypes threats, and healthcare providers often becomes offended that they are in essences being accused of being a racist.

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A Story of the Way Racism Manifests Itself Today

I recently spoke to my mom the other day and she told me a story about her best friend from high school that I thought was particularly interesting for purposes of our class. Her friend Carrie adopted three children from China since she was never able to have her own children. The middle child is currently a senior in high school and for the past few years has been struggling with a disorder known as Reactive Attachment Disorder. Here is an explanation of the disorder to provide a background for the actions of Carrie’s daughter:

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Implicit and Explicit Prejudices

It’s difficult to discuss prejudice without clarifying what it is. The fourth edition of the American Heritage College Dictionary provides four meanings for the term—from “an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts” to “irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race or religion.” Both definitions apply to the experiences of ethnic minorities in Western society. Of course, the second definition sounds much more menacing than the first, but prejudice in either capacity has the potential to cause a great deal of damage.

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You’ll Grow Out of It

I was really going to try to make an effort not to write negatively (or “hate on” as this originally read) my parents for the rest of the semester. I have already hit my father pretty hard in my journal, and, honestly, my parents are getting me through one of the toughest transitions of my life. My parents are the best parents a person could ask for, so hope this does not come off as me hating them.

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This is 2012…isn’t it?

As I have watched the news and blogs lately I am shocked and saddened over the direction it would appear the United States continues to head. I think at this point we can all agree that this country is far from enlightened when it comes to issues of race and interracial interaction. I think it is also safe to say that we all are painfully aware that there is a lot of work to be done however; does it appear to anyone else that instead of progressing forward we are seeing a delve backward?

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