As the United States becomes more and more culturally diverse one cannot help but be exposed to various cultures and worldviews. America has long been called the melting pot, and that term has never been truer than it is today. According to Green and Reinckens (2013) the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by the year 2041 the U.S. population will be a majority minority. In other words, less than half of the population will be non-Hispanic, single race Caucasian. This growing diversity makes cultural competence in healthcare a necessary
Cultural competency has increasingly been recognized as an important part of healthcare. Cultural competency is more than being ‘politically correct.’ It is an important part of ensuring that care is effective. Healthcare advice cannot be disseminated in a cookie-cutter fashion but rather must be conveyed in a way so that patients understand care instructions and genuinely understand the need to fulfill them. With this in mind, diversity awareness and education must be integrated into the education of all healthcare professionals from bottomof their careers. “A consistent body of research indicates a lack of culturally competent care directly contributes to poor patient outcomes, reduced patient compliance, and increased health disparities,
Black or Negro doctors were not common in America during the first half of the century: 500, or about 2.6%, of New York City’s 19,000 physicians were Negro in 1963 (Curtis 64). New York City and Chicago are major cities in the United States, they also are similar when it came to population. It is to say that since New York City only had a few Black Physicians during the time then Chicago reflected the same range of numbers when it came to their black physicians. In fact, African-Americans had only made up “3% of all professional workers in [New York City] in 1950”(Curtis 64). African American women were allowed to work in the medical professions but they were mostly limited to the nursing
This essay reviews key concepts of culture and diversity in the context of their role in causing and/or making worse disparities in health programs.
I am a Brazilian black male with military experience and diplomatic knowledge who grew up in a low-income household in a developing country. In addition, I have traveled to about 35 countries and am acquainted with people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups and nationalities. These characteristics and experiences allow me to see the world from perspectives that are unusual for most people. Besides being open-minded and non- judgemental toward all my future patients, I personally understand the difficulties faced by people of color, immigrants and individuals from low-income families. In sum, my background and my cultural literacy will allow me to be a sensitive and culturally aware patient-centered care.
The answer is no simple or a single solution. Rather, the answers must address the range of causes of disparities (inequalities in education, housing, and health insurance) and empower multiple levels of change ( patients, providers, health systems, policymakers, communities). These levels of change are most commonly found in the fundamental public health Socio-Ecological model. In this model, there are 5 levels, intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, institutions and policy, that could be focused on when implementing solutions to public health concerns, which health disparities would be considered. One method that should be looked at very closely in the institutional level of the model is reorganizing the curriculum of physician education in order to incorporate cultural competency. Such training can improve provider knowledge, attitudes and skills, which may be an important precursor to addressing unconscious provider bias. Drawing upon evidence in social cognitive psychology, Van Rhys Burgess have outlined strategies and skills for healthcare providers to prevent unconscious racial biases from influencing the clinical encounter. Their framework includes: 1) Enhancing internal motivation and avoiding external pressure to reduce bias, 2) Enhancing understanding of the psychosocial basis of bias, 3) Enhancing providers’ confidence in their
Although the United States is a leader in healthcare innovation and spends more money on health care than any other industrialized nation, not all people in the United State benefit equally from this progress as a health care disparity exists between racial and ethnic minorities and white Americans. Health care disparity is defined as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social or economic disadvantage…adversely affecting groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social and/or economic obstacles to health and/or clean environment based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion” (National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities [NPAEHD], 2011, p. 3). Overwhelming evidence shows that racial and ethnic minorities receive inferior quality health care compared to white Americans, and multiple factors contribute to these disparities, including geography, lack of access to adequate health coverage, communication difficulties between patients and providers, cultural barriers, and lack of access to providers (American College of Physicians,
The United States’ whole social structure and system of relations developed based on race, and this prejudice has stuck around to this day, specifically in the U.S.’s healthcare system. It has been found that minority groups often receive less and lower quality treatments than those who are white. On a national scale, ethnic health disparities have become more of a priority in recent decades. Specifically since The Office of Minority Health was established in 1986, and more recently, since “Healthy People”, a popular magazine, named the elimination of these disparities as one of its national goals to accomplish by 2010 (Yang). This paper will explore some of the possible solutions to this extreme gap in health.
A reformation of the achievement levels of African-Americans starts through the investment of high achieving mentors, families, and friends. It begins with African-Americans straying away from statistical choices, such as placing improper value on education, community involvement, and health. The overcoming of such adversities involved with being an African-American woman has propelled my career goals. By striving to become a pharmacist and non-profit leader I am showing that the accomplishments of African-American women in health and leadership are not abnormal. One of the major causes of minority health disparities is the lack of minority health providers. As a healthcare provider, I will be better able to promote wellness in minority populations.
Today, racial and ethnic disparities exist in the public healthcare system in the United States. It is strongly supported by data that depicts members of the minority groups receive disproportionately from different health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and asthma, among other conditions. The main contributors to the racial and ethnic disparities in the public healthcare are the social determinants of the health external to the healthcare delivery system. In addition, social and economic status also affect people’s vulnerability to the disease and their accessibility to public health services. The article provides historical analysis that shows a deteriorating status in the
population. They only make up 4% of physicians; of these 4% only 2% percent are female. With regards to this, diversity in the medical profession is important. As an aspiring future African-American female physician, I will have an opportunity to directly impact minority communities and empathize with my patients. I would like to become a physician to improve healthcare in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. The poverty rate in Birmingham a predominately African-American city is 30.9%. The average household income in the city is less than $32,000, as a consequence of low income levels; the rate of health disparities is greatly
With such glaring evidence on structural racism within the medical field, it is not surprising that people of color face disparities.
The physician is expected to demonstrate an awareness of injustices pervasive throughout their local communities, as well as the global community. Moreover, the physician must exhibit dedication to the rectification of these inequities by leveraging their knowledge, resources and positions in order to lead, and to effect change. As an Ethiopian-Canadian, the issue of minority underrepresentation in healthcare is a matter that I find profoundly riveting. Clinical trials are often conducted utilizing cohorts lacking appropriate minority representation. This results in findings lacking suitable generalizability. As the practice of medicine is rooted in evidence garnered by such trials, this oversight results in the inevitable sub-standard care
With the United States becoming increasingly diverse, healthcare professionals face a multicultural clients and it
For health care workers, cultural competency is important for obvious reasons. On a daily basis, healthcare professionals work with patients of a variety of cultures, and many work with team members who come from different cultures than their own. Medical and other healthcare professionals spend many years in school learning how and when to treat patients for giving symptoms, but teaching them to interact with patients currently falls on knowing the things that make up a person’s cultural identity. Cultural differences that exist between people, such as language, dress and traditions, and the way societies organize themselves, their conception of morality and religion, attitudes about illness and death and the way they interact with the environment. Cultural competence is important in health care because the patient outcome, patient readmissions, staff retention, and labor relations all determine the outcome of an organizations success. Diversity improves the effectiveness and productivity of the workforce. Disadvantages of ignoring cultural diversity can result in a loss of revenue for the business. Company growth will also be affected by ignoring cultural diversity. Steps an organization should take to face this challenge is to implement training that cover workforce diversities and keep an open dialogue among employees expressing concerns, differences, ideas, etc.