Editorials Weigh in on IOM Racial Disparities Report
Several newspapers have run editorials in response to the recent Institute of Medicine report finding vast disparities among minorities and whites on several health measures even when they have similar incomes, insurance and health conditions.
New York Times: The IOM's finding that "biases, prejudices and negative racial stereotypes" among doctors affect the level of care some minority groups receive is "disturbing," the editorial says. According to the Times, the "only lasting cure will be greater awareness and education for the medical profession. Unconscious racism is every bit as dangerous as the more overt forms of bigotry" (New York Times, 3/22).
USA Today: The report should "spur doctors and patients to question why racial disparities are tolerated in medicine," the editorial states. According to USA Today, minority patients "must become forceful advocates for their own care." The editorial concludes, "The country can't wait another 50 years for equal treatment to come to the health care system" (USA Today, 3/22).
- Chicago Sun-Times: The IOM report "exposes a distressing and repugnant racial gap in quality health care in America" that "reaffirm[s] the view that minorities continue to be plagued by institutional racism," the editorial maintains. The editorial concludes that the medical community "must come to grips with the country's odious past and delineate a strategy to combat negative stereotypes among doctors and nurses. ... With the help of advocates, minority patients must begin to arm themselves with the knowledge needed to play an assertive role in determining the quality of medical care they receive" (Chicago Sun-Times, 3/22).