A Recent Focus on Diversity in Health Care Might Perpetuate More Bias
Last month, a page in a nursing textbook showed how some medical professionals are being encouraged to treat patients based on racial stereotypes that presume that people of different backgrounds have different responses to pain. According to a piece by Project HBE, the intention behind the image featured in the textbook was part of a new method where schools have “adopted a systematic approach to teach their students how to treat those from different backgrounds.” Intention aside, the insert is ripe for misinterpretation and promotes racial stereotypes that place patients at harm.
“Cultural sensitivity is like ordering a non-meat dish when going out to eat with a vegetarian friend,” Project HBE explains. “However, skewed cultural sensitivity in healthcare that influences the physician’s choices can ultimately have life-or-death implications.”