Topic

Social Determinants of Health and Wellbeing

Science

The ecological and evolutionary consequences of systemic racism in urban environments

Introduction Cities are important ecosystems shaped by dynamic and interdependent biological, physical and social influences. However, Schell et al. note that few studies link research on urban ecological and evolutionary studies to that of social inequality. They argue it is integral to integrate these disciplines as human-created systems of power create uneven impacts on non-human…

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National Bureau of Economic Research

Persuasion in Medicine: Messaging to Increase Vaccine Demand

Introduction Despite the demonstrated benefits of preventive medicine, only 45% of American adults typically get a flu shot during flu season. Vaccine hesitancy is particularly common among Black and white lower socioeconomic status men, who don’t trust doctors and are skeptical of the benefits relative to the perceived risk. For Black Americans, this mistrust is…

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American Psychologist

Implicit Organizational Bias: Mental Health Treatment Culture and Norms as Barriers to Engaging with Diversity

Introduction BIPOC communities face many structural barriers to accessing mental health care. To reduce this health disparity and better serve multicultural populations, many providers are turning to person-centered care. Person-centered care is intended to improve quality of care by centering the patient’s values, preferences, and goals in collaboratively designed care plans. Although this approach has…

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Social Science & Medicine

A decade of studying implicit racial/ethnic bias in healthcare providers using the implicit association test

Introduction Existing research indicates that Black, Indigenous, and people of color have worse health outcomes than white people, including incidence, prevalence, severity of disease at diagnosis, rates of mortality, and lower quality of care, despite efforts to close these gaps. The health disparity gap begins at birth and persists throughout one’s life course. Though these…

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PNAS

Physician-patient racial concordance and disparities in birthing mortality for newborns

Introduction Prior research has documented that sharing demographic characteristics increases a sense of understanding or empathy between two people. This in-group bias has been found to influence the decisions made by leadership teams, inspection enforcers, teachers, and judges to favor those with shared racial or gender traits (further exasperated by white racial power). Greenwood, Hardeman,…

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Social Science & Medicine

Structural competency: Theorizing a new medical engagement with stigma and inequality

Introduction Medical professionals recognize that physicians must learn both the science of medicine and the art of patient communication. Currently, much of the medical field is focused on the concept of “cultural competency” and “cultural humility.” These concepts have pushed medical education to move beyond “colorblindness” and recognize that social factors, such as race, ethnicity,…

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Science

Dissecting racial bias in an algorithm used to manage the health of populations

Introduction Obermeyer et al. note both the growing attention to potential racial and gender biases within algorithms and the difficulty of obtaining access to real world algorithms – including the raw data used to design and train them – in order to understand how and why bias could appear in them. This study is important…

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Social Issues and Policy Review

Health Disparities due to Diminished Return among Black Americans: Public Policy Solutions

Introduction There is a large, consistent, and persistent gap in many different indicators of health status, across the lifespan, between Black and white populations. The author attempts to break this problem down to its root cause: first, the author notes that while it may be possible that there could be biological or genetic differences between…

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Science

Assessing risk, automating racism

Introduction This article addresses the growing public concern regarding the automation of racial discrimination through digital tools and technology. Throughout the paper, the author, Dr. Ruha Benjamin, focuses her discussion on a notable publication by Obermeyer et al. entitled, “Dissecting racial bias in an algorithm used to manage the health of populations.” Unlike most researchers who…

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