Racism In Health Care Essay

1417 words - 6 pages

Throughout American history, relationships between racial and ethnic groups have been marked by antagonism, inequality, and violence. In today’s complex and fast-paced society, historians, social theorists and anthropologists have been known to devote significant amounts of time examining and interrogating not only the interior climate of the institutions that shape human behavior and personalities, but also relations between race and culture. It is difficult to tolerate the notion; America has won its victory over racism. Even though many maintain America is a “color blind nation,” racism and racial conflict remain to be prevalent in the social fabric of American institutions. As a result, one may question if issues and challenges regarding the continuity of institutional racism still exist in America today. If socialization in America is the process by which people of various ethnicities and cultures intertwine, it is vital for one to understand how the race relations shape and influence personalities regarding the perceptions of various groups. Heartbreaking as it is, racism takes a detour in acceptance of its blind side. Further, to better understand racism one must take into account how deeply it entrenched it is, not only in politics, and economics but also Health Care settings. In doing so, one will grasp a decisive understanding of "who gets what and why.” The objective of this paper is to explore and examine the pervasiveness of racism in the health care industry, while at the same time shed light on a specific area of social relations that has remained a silence in the health care setting. The turpitude feeling of ongoing silence has masked the treatment black patients have received from white health care providers within the healthcare setting.
In The Lived Experience of Race and Its Health Consequences, Brian Smedly examines distinctive behaviors of discrimination and racism in the health care industry that is directly linked to blacks. In doing so, he pays particularly close attention to black patients and their relations with health care policies and practices. Smedly maintains that blacks are not only the victims of, inpatient and outpatient treatment, racial policies, and other services but also the victims of its consequences. He argues that many health care administrators are agents to a system of inequality that support provider and administrator biases, geographical inequalities, and racial stereotypes (Smedly 2012).
In the field of health care there is a pervasive notion that many blacks are presumed to be low income. It is interesting to see how blackness is associated with low income and class. For example, questions regarding where black patients reside and what their current occupation is can be directly linked to racial profiling in health care. The author contends black patients are more likely to receive a lower quality of health care due to one’s insurance status and income. Here, too, one can...

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