The Impact of Race on Healthcare Organization

Presenter: Qijie Luo

Research Category: Health Sciences
College: College of Professional Studies
Major(s): Leadership
Graduation Date: 2021

In the 18th century, with the development of natural science, people began to seriously classify the population into races (Tashiro,2005). Although categorization of races supported medical research, it also perpetuated centuries of unequal treatment based on these concepts. Per the research, reports show that patients of color have less chance of receiving a kidney transplant than white patients (Furth et al., 2000). There are fewer psychotropic drugs available to African Americans than white youth (Zito, Safer, dosReis, & Riddle, 1998). By examining a case in-depth through cultural history and politics, new perspectives can be highlighted to address the issues of healthcare inequity. This project focused on a case of an 8-year-old boy, appearing to be of European ancestry, who presented with acute abdominal pain and anemia. He was scheduled for surgery, which was subsequently canceled when a routine blood smear led to the identification of previously undiagnosed sickle cell anemia. The child was of South Asian, northern European, and Mediterranean ancestry. A physician’s assumptions about a patient’s race that result in the elimination of possible diseases or the narrowing of focus to one disease in the differential diagnosis may have serious negative consequences (Witzig, 1996).  The current dilemma faced by health care organizations through the impact of racial issues on healthcare organizations in the United States.