This article reiterates, in the context of doctors and patients, a story that is unfortunately common in American society. Endemic racism, often unrecognized or unacknowledged by the racist individuals themselves, pervades every aspect of society in the United States. In the media, it takes the form of fewer people of color in positions of power or interest; for example, actors of color playing only minor characters in films or a lack of fashion models who show diverse forms of beauty. In education, it presents as children of color, especially young African American boys, falling behind their classmates academically. And in this article, it is seen as a communication problem between patients of color and their medical caregivers or lack of trust when the doctor is a minority.
It is interesting to see how doctors and their patients are both adversely affected by this. Doctors in particular have a commitment to helping others, and it is difficult to reconcile that with the fact that many doctors are also racists. Probably many of them do not even realize their inherent biases or understand how these can harm their patients. The most helpful perspective to take is that of the greater context. This racism is not a problem that only appears in hospitals. It is everywhere. Therefore, the only way to eliminate it is to educate, practice, and work to fight racism in every aspect of society. Only then will doctors and patients be able to function without racial bias.