Is It All in Our Heads? An Investigation into American and Historical Legacies of Racism and Social Frameworks that Perpetuate Racial Inequalities in Twenty-First Century Healthcare Systems


paternalistic racism
competitive racism
race-conscious professionalism
psychologizing racism


Racial bias in the healthcare system, originating from the eminent founders of science and medicine, has numerous adverse effects on black populations and continues to have harmful consequences today (Byrd and Clayton, 2001). From poor clinical decision-making to preventing people of color from entering prominent fields in medicine, racism is ubiquitous in medicine and healthcare (Byrd and Clayton, 2001). The impact of racial bias on patient care is of great interest with many studies illustrating the detrimental impacts of bias on minority groups, specifically in black communities. However, there is additional research that concludes racial bias does not play a role in patient care or in medicine (Dehon et al., 2017). The lack of acknowledgment within academia concerning racial disparities in healthcare and science further oppresses black voices. With my research, I investigate the extent to which various biased social frameworks in healthcare, medicine, and science negatively impact black individuals. I also address major historical events during the creation of the modern-day healthcare system and how these events perpetuate racism today. Focusing on the twenty-first century, I demonstrate that systemic historical and social events during this period eternalize racism in the modern-day American healthcare system.
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