Study: Latino, Black Physicians Experience Racial Discrimination and Bias from Patients



More than 40% of Latino and Black resident physicians experience racial discrimination and bias from the patients they serve, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. The experiences range from explicit racial epithets to a patient’s refusal of care. And on top of that, most physicians (84%) do not report the incidents to their leadership. “To address the issue of biased patient behavior, interventions are needed at the institutional and interpersonal levels,” according to researchers Shalila de Bourmont, Arun Burra, Sarah Nouri, et al. Racial discrimination and implicit bias must be addressed. What the JAMA Study Showed about Bias and Discrimination The study conducted by de Bourmont, Burra, Nouri et al. surveyed 232 internal medicine residents from three ...

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In New Class Oaths, Medical Students Commit to Fight Racial Injustices


University of Houston College of Medicine Class of 2024 student reciting their oath. Source: University of Houston

In medical schools across the country, students in medical, nursing, and physician assistant programs participate in a ritual known as the white coat ceremony. This signifies the beginning of their journeys to achieve the long white lab coat, a well-recognized symbol of respect and professionalism. During the ceremony, students receive a short white lab coat and recite a class oath or pledge, acknowledging their obligation to compassion and scientific excellence as health care providers. Incoming students often write their own class oaths. This year, amid a civil rights movement protesting police brutality and global health pandemic, students at two medical schools stand out for writing class oaths that acknowledge racism’s impact on public health. These new oaths call for ...

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System Justification Leads to Ignoring COVID-19 Safety Precautions


latina looking at face mask with system justification in covid-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has been a force in our lives for the last 10 months. At this point, we know the standard procedures for safety precautions, like wearing a mask, keeping physical distance, and avoiding crowded public spaces. We’ve even started administering a vaccine to healthcare workers and the elderly, with the FDA emergency-use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this past weekend. But despite all this, the pandemic still isn’t over. COVID-19 cases are spiking in many areas across the country as people move events indoors due to colder weather and are travelling more for the holidays. Not to mention pandemic fatigue. Another big safety concern is using “system justification” to ignore safety precautions. This happens when people rationalize unsafe behaviors ...

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Latino Students Misdiagnosed with Learning Disabilities Raises Questions about Discrimination, Bias


Group of kindergarten kids friends drawing art class outdoors

Latino children in Santa Barbara schools are disproportionately represented in special education classes, and often incorrectly, as per a new report from the California Department of Education. “Children from Latinx families are 3.43 times more likely to be identified as having learning disabilities than their white peers in the Santa Barbara Unified School District,” according to the Santa Barbara Independent. The state flagged the district for the “significant disproportionality.” This issue highlights the potential bias against and lack of resources for Latino students who are struggling in school, especially those from Spanish-speaking or immigrant households. It also emphasizes the need for school officials to ensure students are treated with equity, no matter ...

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Héctor Rodríguez: Bringing Latino Representation to the Comic Book World


hector rodriguez

To his students, he’s Mr. Rodríguez. To his fans, he’s the creator and author of the comic book and graphic novel series El Peso Hero. When he noticed a need for more Latino representation in comic books and literature, Héctor Rodríguez launched his long-time project as a web series in 2011. El Peso Hero is a Latino superhero who fights corruption, drug trafficking, immigration, and other real-life social and racial justice issues happening on the Texas/Mexico border. Now almost 10 years later, Rodríguez has printed several comic books, produced a radio novella and short film, and is working on developing El Peso Hero into a Hollywood production. Rodríguez first found inspiration for El Peso Hero during his childhood on the Texas/Mexico border. Inspiration on the ...

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Honoring Latino Military Heroes on Veteran’s Day


Lt. Evita Salles, a Latino Military Personnel for Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day is on Nov. 11, 2020. We at Salud America! are excited to honor all U.S. military personnel, including the Latinos, who have served our country. Latinos in the Military: History Latinos have a “proud and indeed enviable” record of military service that dates back to the Civil War, according to a U.S. Army historical website. About 20,000 Latino serviceman and women participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, 80,000 in the Vietnam War in 1959-1973, and more than 400,000 in World War II in 1939-1945. Latinos have received more than 40 Medals of Honor, according to the Department of Defense. “Whether their heritage can be traced to Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, or one of dozens of other Spanish-speaking countries or cultures, they’ve ...

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Moral Disengagement Fuels ‘Pandemic Fatigue’ & How We Can Avoid It


Pandemic Fatigue

As we reach the seventh month of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are pointing to a new cause in an uptick of cases: pandemic fatigue. “Pandemic fatigue refers to feeling overwhelmed with still having to maintain a state of constant vigilance, in this case six months after the pandemic started, and a weariness to abide by restrictions,” according to Gavi Vaccine Alliance. Understandably, people are tired of the daily inconveniences caused by avoiding the COVID-19 virus and want their lives to return to normal. However, if we fall complacent and begin disregarding guidance from public health officials, we take part in moral disengagement and it becomes more difficult for our communities to put an end to COVID-19. When we disengage morally from safety and virus prevention, ...

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Denise Hernández: Finding Herself by Unlearning Implicit Bias and Embracing Her Chicana Heritage


Denise Hernández salud hero chicana implicit bias

Denise Hernández is a proud Chicana and a 5th generation San Antonian. She is the founder of Maestranza, an organization based in San Antonio that empowers community members through education, activism, and collaboration with other local social justice groups. She also coordinates events and constituent services for San Antonio City Councilman Roberto Treviño. MySA named her a “Rising Star in Their 20s.” She’s led speaker series, workshops, and even a TEDx talk. Denise Hernández is an educator, activist, and advocate for her community. And at only 29 years old, she’s just getting started. But the journey here was anything but easy. It took years of self-discovery, unlearning biases, and confronting the discrimination that her family has faced for ...

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Extremely COVID-19 High Rates among Latino Farm, Food Workers


COVID-19 Latino Farm Food Workers

Nearly three-fourths of all coronavirus cases in some of the country’s most critical industries are happening among Latinos, the group already experiencing harsh burdens from the virus. Of the 5,721 workers in food processing, food manufacturing, and agriculture fields who tested positive for COVID-19 early in the outbreak, 72.8% were Latino, according to October 2020 data from the CDC. These numbers shouldn’t come as a total surprise, based on the conditions these laborers face in the workplace, said Dr. S. Patrick Kachur, a population and family health professor at Columbia University. "Workers come and go from the workplace on a daily basis,” Kachur told TODAY Food. “If they are living in communities with widespread transmission, or households with other persons who ...

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