The Research On Health Disparities Across The United States

1699 WordsFeb 19, 20177 Pages
The research on health disparities across the United States is still relatively new. For many within the medical field there are still many who focus on issues of disparities without addressing the structural issues at the base of those disparities. When it comes to interventions to address these disparities and inequalities, research is focused on the role of medical professionals with little research on community engagement and empowerment. Problem Theory When address the issue of structural racism as it pertains to health there are two terms that have to be identified and distinguished: health disparities and health inequity. Health disparities can be defined as the overall “differences in the health outcomes of socially…show more content…
Though it has been apparent that people of color have been treated as a subclass within the medical field for centuries; as was brought to light in The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the recognition of forced hysterectomies and sterilizations of African American women in the 20th century and, to “The Negro Project” which worked to reduce the African American population through eugenics (Feagin & Bennefield, 2014). With even these three examples it is clear that the medical field has played a large role in creating both psychological and physical disadvantages and trauma for minority groups in America. Yet, it seems to be a subject that many professionals refuse to address. A meta-analysis conducted by Mayberry, Mili and Ofili found that, “researchers have repeatedly documented racial and ethnic differences in access to invasive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for heart disease and stroke. Study findings have consistently indicated that African Americans are less likely to receive pharmacological therapy, diagnostic angiography and catheterization, and invasive surgical treatments for heart disease and stroke relative to white Americans with similar clinical disease characteristics (2000).” With such glaring evidence on structural racism within the medical field, it is not surprising that people of color face disparities. Change Theory
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