A new study shed light on the way African-American people are being treated by white doctors, and the results are discouraging, to say the least. It seems that racial prejudices are still common among doctors, African-American people being undertreated by their physicians because of their skin color.
According to a study made by scientists from Virginia University, racial prejudices are still common among doctors. The team discovered that an unsettling percentage of Med students and residents believed that African-American people were more tolerant to pain than white individuals.
Among the most common prejudices, there was the idea that the skin of African-Americans is thicker than that of white individuals, that their nerve-endings are less sensitive and that their blood is able to clot faster than the blood of white people.
These outdated, racist facts date back from before the Civil War when slave owners considered them undeniable truths. Because the African-American people were obligated to endure terrible punishments without flinching, the slave owners concluded that their pain threshold is higher than usual and took the idea for granted.
Unfortunately, there are still many individuals that continue to believe such myths in the 21st century. What is more alarming is the fact that these people are Med students and residents, people that are or will have the power to decide the course of treatment of an African-American person.
Previous studies have shown that a concerning percent of African-American individuals are being undertreated because their white doctors cannot understand their pain. Those who still believe that the pain threshold of an African-American is higher than normal would prescribe lighter medication, incorrectly treating a patient.
When patients continued to complain about their pain, their doctors would simply presume that they are faking it in order to get their hands on more medication. The practice is well known among drug addicts, but presuming that an African-American person is lying just because there is an urban legend that dictates that they are more tolerant to pain than white people is plain racist.
The authors of the study believe that Med Schools should start addressing these problems during classes so that the future doctors will act solely on real, medical knowledge, not urban myths that continue to be considered truths in the 21st century.
Sadly, racial prejudices are still common among doctors in the United States, but the authors of the study hope that these problems will be solved in the near future.
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