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Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2011 - Spring

Contents

by Augustus A. White III, M.D., HS ’66 (Harvard University Press)In a book that is part autobiography, the author argues that the best means to improve health care is for medical schools to train physicians who are not only scientifically adept but also culturally competent. White cites studies showing that physicians and hospital staff on the whole dispense lower-quality care to minority patients. Females, both white and nonwhite, homosexuals, and the elderly are also treated differently from middle-class white men. Poorer quality of care results in measurably higher mortality rates among these vulnerable subpopulations.