Medscape: Physicians’ Views on Racial Disparities Issues Report 2022 Shows Strong Emotions, Contrary Opinions.

The United States is now divided on many important issues and physicians are part of the conversation.  Medscape asked opinions on 10 important social issues that Americans feel strongly about.

More than 2300 physicians in nearly 30 specialties shared their opinions.  Here is what Medscape found out.

Of the 10 issues in the survey, racial disparities came in third in physician’s importance ratings behind healthcare access and substance/opioid abuse.

Dr. Eva Shelton of Brigham and Women’s Hospital says “Inequality when it comes to access to care and treatment by providers often leads to misdiagnosis, delays in treatment, and mistrust from marginalized communities of the healthcare system.”

Shelton adds that in regions where physicians tend to emphasize the importance of racial disparities, attitudes and approaches may vary.

“Medical centers with a large diverse population have established strategies to break down these barriers,” Shelton says.

About 1 in 5 physicians currently see racial disparities at play in how employees are treated in their workplace.

Shelton says addressing racial disparities in healthcare comes down to changing the way physicians approach people in general.  It affects life in and out of the hospital.

Attitudes about the social significance of racial disparities don’t seem substantially different by age group.

Black and African American physicians significantly more often report that they or their families have been affected by racial disparities.

A 2020 study in Family Medicine found that physicians of color were routinely exposed to discrimination and microaggressions from their patients, colleagues, and institutions.

A substantially larger majority of physicians things that Americans are treated differently, based on race, than agree that race affects how healthcare providers treat them.

The leading response by physicians who are concerned about racial disparities is to donate money, and another study shows the profession is very generous with volunteerism and teaching.