Physicians Discuss Ethnic Minority Health Disparities at Conference
More than 100 ethnic physicians and physicians who work with minority populations recently discussed a range of health care issues at the 2008 Ethnic Physicians Leadership Summit held in Anaheim, Calif., New America Media reports. The two-day conference was sponsored by the California Medical Association Foundation and panel discussion topics included electronic health records, Medicare reimbursement rates, promoting prevention in ethnic communities and language barriers.
At the conference, Robert Valdez, executive director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy and associate director of the Office of Community Health at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center, said that ethnic physicians tend to have a larger proportion of non-white patients. He added that ethnic physicians must be creative in making sure their patients have access to care during "one of the most difficult times of the economy, when we are facing severe health care disparities."
Albert Arteaga, who founded a chain of clinics in Southern California 24 years ago called LaSalle Medical Associates, received the 2008 Ethnic Physician Leadership Award. He said, "I want all of my patients to feel that going to the doctor is no more intimidating than going to the grocery store," adding, "This is much easier to succeed in when our patients understand that we are here to answer any and all of their questions and provide them with individual recommendations based on their current situation" (Wang, New America Media, 10/24).