Negative Effects Of Physician Burnout Go Beyond Doctors’ Own Health–It Increases Racial Bias As Well
Patients who are not white face bias when they seek care, but new research shows that can worsen due to doctor burnout. Residents with more symptoms of burnout had higher scores on the measures of explicit and implicit racial bias. In other health disparity news: genetic counselors, pediatric research and a dearth of studies on sunscreen.
The Washington Post:
Burned-Out Doctors May Be More Prone To Racial Bias
Concerns about burnout among doctors are growing as new research is beginning to quantify the dangers and costs of the problem. In the past few years, researchers have found that 54 percent of doctors report feeling burned out. Doctors experiencing burnout are twice as likely to log major medical errors. The suicide rate among physicians is twice that of the general population and one of the highest among all professions. (Wan, 7/26)
Genetic Counselors In Demand, But Diversity Lags
Altovise Ewing was a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., when she first learned what a genetic counselor was. Although she had a strong interest in research, she suspected working in a lab wasn't for her — not enough social interaction. Then, when a genetic counselor came to her class as a guest lecturer, Ewing had what she recalls as a "lightbulb moment." Genetic counseling, she realized, would allow her to be immersed in the science but also interact with patients. And maybe, she thought, she'd be able to help address racial health disparities, too. (Stallings, 7/27)
Pediatric Research: Implicit Race Bias Needs Critical Check In Health Care
Researchers across the country have been investigating why this happens and how to bring health equity to children, regardless of skin color, religion, gender, orientation or other factors tied to disparities in outcomes. What they’ve found is this: Most of the time, health-care providers have no intention of treating a patient differently, but sometimes they do.Why? Implicit bias. (Roth, 7/28)
The New York Times:
Should Black People Wear Sunscreen?
Little heralds the arrival of summer like the smell of open water, smokey grills and sunscreen. Since the late 1970s, as medical researchers linked sun exposure to skin cancer, Americans have been told to dutifully slather, spray and rub on sunscreen as part of a broader package of sun protection. But does it make sense for me, a dark-skinned black woman, to wear it? With record-breaking heat this summer, it’s an especially relevant question, and you might even expect the answer to be “absolutely.” It’s more complicated than that. (Pierre-Louis, 7/26)