Public Health Can Reframe Debate about Minority Healthcare

Minorities get less adequate care, participants learn at Oregon Public Health Association conference.

Jan Johnson, for the Lund Report, 10-23-14

Minorities in the U.S. get less and less adequate care than non-minorities Margarita Alegria, director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research and a professor at Harvard Medical School, told the Oregon Public Health Association’s annual conference.  To address the problem, public health needs to re-frame the debate.

“We’ve concentrated on race and ethnicity too long,” said Alegria.  “I think it has to do more with being a minority and how people react to you as ‘the other’.”

She cited research on patient and clinician interaction that shows “who saw you mattered on what diagnosis you got,” adding that bias happened both ways.  Patients thought providers earned more than they do.