Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Examines Racial Disparities in Health Care
As part of its monthly series on racial disparities in health care, "The Colors of Care," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today reports on the lack of African-American doctors in Pittsburgh, Pa., and across the nation. Increasing the number of minority physicians is important because it gives minority patients "one less hurdle to overcome" in communicating with their doctors, according to the Post-Gazette. In addition, minority doctors are more likely to set up practices in communities "hardest hit" by racial disparities in health care, the Post-Gazette reports. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Minority Programs Paula Davis said, "People tend to gravitate toward health care professionals who look like themselves and possibly identify with what they're going through." She added, "If [minority patients] feel comfortable getting regular checks from their doctor ... there's a greater likelihood that people who have treatable illnesses will go and be seen." According to the Post-Gazette, African Americans make up 4% of physicians, but they are 12% of the general population. Dr. Michael Forbes, an African-American physician, said, "Getting more black professionals into the community is absolutely essential to changing the [health care] disparity." The full article is available online (Snowbeck, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 8/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.