Substandard health care for minorities? - page 5

I thought this article was rather disturbing. Comments? (You have to register with the NY times to view the article, but registration is free).... Read More

  1. by   Q.
    Here, here George!
  2. by   fergus51
    I don't see why blame has anything to do with it. I don't consider myself to blame for minorities poor health care. I don't think that's the point. I think the point is that if we want to improve the health of the population as a whole, it has to be done by adressing the health challenges of subpopulations that need it the most (whether that subpopulation is defined by race, socio-economic status or whatver).
  3. by   SharonH, RN
    To George, Brad and Suzy: Too bad you choose to ignore the data. If I gave you a story about what I have observed, seen, and experienced, you'd say show me the hard data. You get the data and you prefer to believe that the data's skewed. If you haven't experiencecd it, then how do you know? There is racism in healthcare and I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable to acknowledge(or in Brad's case, angry) but it's true.
  4. by   Q.
    I've also learned that hard data can be made to say anything the author wishes. I just try to read with a discriminating eye.
  5. by   wrightgd
    Sharon,

    I don't mean to imply that there is not racism in healthcare... Of course there is... It's everywhere. My point is that the data is scientifically unsound. There are so many other factors which influence the treatment of all individuals seeking healthcare.

    The biggest point I am trying to make is this... Let's assume that the data is 100% accurate and encompasses all possible variables... The bottom line is still that America's healthcare system is off base... It is designed and operated as a business, and not to take care of the public's health needs. That is my point...

    But still, you're right... I don't necessarily agree that this report is accurate... Waaaaayyyyy too many variables that just can't be documented...

    Thanks for the debate...
    George
  6. by   eldernurse
    I still say we all live together in this country. We all have socio-economic situations, be it race or money. Each one of us is responsible for our own health. If you come to the ER with whatever and the nurse and the doctor give you follow up info and stress that the follow up is important, it is still the individual's responsibility to seek out the available help.
    I do not feel it is our duty to hold their hand, make the follow up appointment and make sure they go to it.
    I treat everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) the same when they come to the ER. I don't care if you are Susie prostitute with vaginal discharge or the president's mother with chest pain. Each patient I care for is important. Each of them need the proper follow up care after the ER visit. Those needs are addressed. I resent a study that implies that health care is not out there for everyone.
  7. by   semstr
    Well, I agree with a lot of statements here.
    But doesn't money(aka not having money) goes hand in hand with racisme most of the time?

    Take care, Renee
  8. by   Stargazer
    I resent a study that implies that health care is not out there for everyone.
    eldernurse, how you, individually, treat patients is not really the point of studies like this. The point of research like this is to study systems: are there mechanisms in place to educate minorities about the value of primary care; are poorer counties underserved by sufficient hospitals/primary care centers, etc.

    Whether or not you "resent" it is neither here nor there--the numbers are there. Now, you can argue, as some of the other posters have done, that the study itself has design flaws, and that may be so. Most studies aren't statistically bulletproof.

    However, according to the CDC,
    Numerous reports and research studies have documented major disparities between key health indicators among racial and ethnic minorities and those among white populations.
    I would refer you again to the links I posted on page 1. Given that the CDC's raison d'etre is epidemiology, I don't think that its conclusions on this topic can be dismissed out of hand.
  9. by   Q.
    I am convinced now that there is disparity in health care, only it is not limited to patients. Check this out, very disturbing:

    Title: Minority Medical Students Received Admissions Breaks, Report Says.
    Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, 6/29/2001, Vol. 47 Issue 42, pA22, 1/4p
    Author(s): Dainow, Susannah
    Abstract: Reports on the admission of cultural minorities in some medical schools in the United States even if they have lower grades compared to their white counterpart. Study documenting two years of admissions records at several medical schools; Preference for blacks over other minority groups; Reactions from medical school officials.
    AN: 5497780
    ISSN: 0009-5982


    Section: GOVERNMENT & POLITICS


    MINORITY MEDICAL STUDENTS RECEIVED ADMISSIONS BREAKS, REPORT SAYS

    WASHINGTON
    A RESEARCH GROUP that opposes affirmative action has released a report showing that five public medical schools admitted black and Hispanic students whose grades and scores were generally lower than those of their white and Asian peers, and that the minority students subsequently performed less well on licensing exams.

    Admissions officials at the medical schools say the study mistakenly asserts that admissions decisions are made based on race, and exaggerates the role that test scores play in the decisions.

    The Center for Equal Opportunity, which is based here, published a study documenting two years of admissions records at five medical schools: the Medical College of Georgia, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, the State University of New York's Brooklyn College of Medicine, and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

    The study, which examined only in-state applicants, found that at all of the schools, the median MCAT score and the median undergraduate grade-point average for admitted black and Hispanic students were lower than the median scores and grades of their white and Asian counterparts. For example, at Michigan State's medical college in 1999, the median MCAT score of admitted black students was 7 points lower out of a possible 51 points than the median score for admitted white students; the median G.P.A. for admitted black students was 2.93, compared with 3.61 for admitted white students. Hispanic students who were admitted the same year had a median MCAT score that was two points lower than that of their white counterparts, and a median G.P.A. of 2.98.

    'STARK' DIFFERENCES

    "The differential probabilities of admission are quite stark," states the report. "Preferences strongly favor blacks over other groups and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics over Asians and whites. Asians do not benefit from any racial preferences."

    The study also found that discrepancies exist in the results of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination: Black students at these schools are more likely than white or Asian students -- and Hispanics are slightly more so -- to fail or to not take the exam at all.

    "It is MCAT scores and, in most cases, grades that predict Step 1 [of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination] scores," states the study. "So when admission committees admit individuals with substantially lower test grades and scores, whether or not they are members of minority groups, they increase the likelihood of their students' performing poorly in medical school."

    The Center for Equal Opportunity's president, Linda Chavez, worries that current admissions practices may adversely affect the medical profession, and future patients. "What we're really talking about here is a skills gap, and we have to address it directly," she said. "It's not appropriate to address it indirectly and try to sweep under the rug any evidence of inequality."

    Medical-school officials say that the research was prepared with incomplete information.

    "Test scores are an important piece of the admission process, but not the most important," said Daniel Hunt, associate dean of admissions at the University of Washington medical school, who says that the school's officials base 50 percent of their decision about an applicant on his or her performance during the interview. "Clearly the things we pick up in an interview -- sensitivity and compassion, for example -- aren't represented by those numbers. To my knowledge there are no studies that say the MCAT and the G.P.A. predict who's going to be a good doctor."

    Dr. Hunt said that since racial preferences are now illegal in Washington, under a statewide ballot measure approved by voters in 1998, the medical school does not use them.

    According to the Center for Equal Opportunity's study, more than 3,500 nonblack students were rejected from the five medical schools even though they had higher MCAT scores and undergraduate G.P.A.'s than the median for those black students who were accepted.

    "The question is whether or not it serves anyone's interests, either the public at large or the intended beneficiaries, to have [admission] decisions made based on race," Ms. Chavez said. "We would argue that in neither case is the public good served."
  10. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Susy K
    I've also learned that hard data can be made to say anything the author wishes. I just try to read with a discriminating eye.
    I am convinced now that there is disparity in health care, only it is not limited to patients. Check this out, very disturbing: - Susy K

    Now which is it Susy K..?.

    Why did one particular piece of "hard data"...convince you more than the other??

    Just an completely honest question....because I'm confused as to how one min...you don't believe what you read....and the next you do...
  11. by   Q.
    Oh, the other "hard data" convinced me as well, however, it was my opininon that certain factors were not taken into consideration (that I listed in my original post)
    Like I stated, I try to read with a discriminating eye. Some stats are altered, some are not. But in all studies, there is a bit of truth in all of it. It's how the author choses to interpret it.

    To have a small sample, and then draw a direct causation which doesn't exist, doesn't impress me. Correlations do.

    Besides, a report like the one I printed above will never make the national news, as it is not polictically correct.
  12. by   Brownms46
    Ahh.... but where does the real truth lie...and how was the truth really slanted ...and which way...?? Now that is the true question...
  13. by   Q.
    One will we never know, I guess Brownie. That's why I think stats in nursing is important.
    Helps a nurse determine if a study is valid enough to include in her practice.

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