How Black Patients Can Address Medical Racism

Surgeon in scrubs
Leslie Taylor-Grover
June 10, 2021

Medical racism started as an attempt to justify the enslavement of our people, and it continues today as a vicious form of institutional racism that means we don’t get the care we need to be healthy. 

But we DO have a few ways to fight back, and it just may save our lives. Here are some of them.

#1: Take someone with you. 

You don’t have to go to your visit alone, and a second person can help describe what they’re seeing with your condition. They can ask questions you’re uncomfortable asking or even help you take notes from your visit.

#2: Get a second opinion

Doctors make mistakes like everyone else. For example, if you felt rushed, or had a funny feeling about your doctor, or even if you just didn't feel right after your visit, make another appointment with another doctor!

#3: Ask questions. 

DON’T allow the doctor to do all the talking! Interact and don’t be afraid to ask about terms you don’t understand or treatments you have a problem with. Remember, it’s the doctor’s responsibility to provide care for you!

Black healthcare matters and we must remember that we can never ask too many questions or get too involved in our health outcomes. If we’re truly going to be free, we need to be as healthy as possible!

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