What is it about?

This article highlights an ongoing program that espouses the importance of addressing racism as a health issue and will reveal individual experiences and challenges in addressing it within urban underserved residency program settings. Collaborators on this project are two underrepresented minority residency program faculty, a resident who is passionate about social justice and who is ethnically different from the majority of his patients, and lastly an international resident of color who has experienced racism directly and indirectly during residency training.

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Why is it important?

The United States is currently experiencing an exacerbation of racial tensions and health-care providers working in urban underserved areas deal with the effects of racism on patients on a daily basis. To effectively address patients’ needs, it is imperative that physicians and behavioral health providers acknowledge the racial and socioeconomic challenges that patients face and recognize how these factors transcend to the physical and psychological medical conditions that patients experience. Due to the ethnic disparities in the health care provider workforce, the majority of providers are often of different ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds from the patients they serve. Any effort to teach providers how to provide cross-cultural care is needed and imperative for treating patients of color.


My hope in writing this article is that people become aware of the affects of racism on the health of patients of color and that they think about the skills needed in order to provide high quality care to a patient population that has a history of marginalization by the institution that now seeks to properly care for them.

Camille Garrison
Medical College of Wisconsin

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Race matters: Addressing racism as a health issue, The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, July 2018, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0091217418791432.
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