|November 25, 2020
JAMA: Resident Physician Experiences With and Responses to Biased Patients
An important MedPage Today story this week covering a recent JAMA study identified that nearly all medical residents reported that patients had made belittling comments or asked to change providers within the past year, but women and residents of color reported experiencing the most bias, according to an online survey in California and North Carolina.
An especially disturbing section of the article contained the following:
For example, one respondent wrote that a physician had grabbed her arm and pulled it towards a patient to compare her skin color to the color of the patient's diarrhea. "Does it look like her arm or is it lighter?" He then asked the patient, and then "chuckled and said 'your skin is the perfect color for this job,'" according to the study.
While the incident did not happen in Maine, it does not mean such incidents haven’t, don’t, and won’t, happen within our borders. As outlined in our Statement on Systemic Racism, “The MMA is committed to lasting change in the name of equity and justice and will not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind. Black and minority residents of Maine should know that the MMA will fight for your health and wellbeing and will combat the systemic causes of racism that plague our state.”
The MMA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Racism, Ethnicity and Health Disparities will meet in early December on its way to developing comprehensive, concrete, and actionable solutions to address the systemic and problematic issues of race, ethnicity and unacceptable health disparities in Maine.
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