Black History Month - 2022 - Black Health and Wellness
Selectors: Alexandra Sarkozy, Wendy Wu, LaVentra E. Danquah, Meghan McGowan
Racial health disparities in health and disease are the focus of this Subject of the Month guide. The selectors for this guide seek to bring together readings, websites, and information about new approaches to health disparities research that focus on the impacts of racism on the health outcomes of Black patients. Rather than look at race alone as a category of analysis for health disparities, these researchers attribute differences in health outcomes among races directly to the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of interpersonal and societal racism to account for differences in outcomes.
Understanding health inequalities among races to be caused by racism, rather than essentialized biological differences between "races", shifts medical research away from a fundamental attribution error. The causes, and therefore the solutions, to disparate rates of hypertension, diabetes, pre-term birth, low birth weight, and many other health outcomes can be addressed when we as researchers finally begi to ask the right questions about the relationship between race and medicine.
In order to create a just health care system, reduce and eliminate racism-driven health disparities, medicine must confront its violent and racist past. Removing the construct of biological race from research agendas, and building a body of knowledge without colonial and racist premises, is essential for medicine to stop perpetuating racial harm against patients of color.
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