Saturday, May 18, 2024

Cultural Competency Vital to Healthcare for Minorities







The biggest issue concerning minority healthcare is a lack of services which are culturally competent with the patients being treated. Although the lack of services exist, according to JAMA Internal Medicine, minority patients are primarily being treated by minority doctors.

“The fact that minority physicians are much more likely to care for disadvantaged patients suggests that expanding the racial diversity of the physician workforce in the U.S. could be key to improving access to care,” said Dr. Marrast, lead author of the study by the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts.

Even though minority patients are more likely to be cared for by a minority doctor, a small percentage of the doctor workforce is made up of minority professionals. In fact, only 15 percent of health professionals in the U.S. are minorities which brings up the need for care that is culturally-relevant.

“We should be deliberately selecting and training physicians who will go into undersupplied specialties…serve vulnerable patient populations…and practice in underserved communities,” wrote Dr. Somnath Saha of the Portland VA Medical Center in an editorial accompanying the study.

Now that answers have been given on how to make healthcare for minorities better, the next and most important step is still left to be figured out. In other words, what investments and adjustments will the U.S., and most importantly the healthcare system, make to actually see these changes.