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Showing Black Men How To Self-advocate For Better Healthcare

August 27, 2021 by Daren Thompson
Showing Black Men How To Self-advocate For Better Healthcare

Talking to your doctor is you being in your most vulnerable position. Now imagine they just dismiss your concerns and issues and do not take anything you say to them seriously.

You don’t even have to imagine it right? Cause if you’re a black man, this is probably your reality. It will be a long time until we live in a society that treats all those who inhabit it equally.

However, there are people and organizations who are advocating for better healthcare for the African American community, who let’s say are considered to be the least healthy ethnic group in America, and a big part of it is because of the healthcare injustice and inequality we are all experiencing.

You can also play a part in learning how to self advocate for your rights and I will show you how.

What is healthcare bias?

Let’s start from where the core of the problem lies. For some doctors being biased toward a black patient might not even be intended that way. Nonetheless, because of popular stereotypes they might dismiss a black person’s concerns because they believe in something else.

How about that extremely false myth that black people have thicker skin, thus having a higher pain tolerance? How many people have been given inadequate care, just because of that? And that is absolutely unacceptable.

To conclude, bias means that minorities, and in this case, the African American community is given mediocre treatment for what are normal conditions that are very simple to treat.

Organizations that are helping for better healthcare

At UW Medicine, for instance, a team of faculty, staff, students, and community leaders decided to craft the ‘Healthcare Equity Blueprint’, which as the main objective has to reduce disparities and doing so by partnering with those communities that are in need of medical attention.

They state that their goal is not to treat everyone the same but to get absolutely everyone the help that they need, as soon as they need it, wherever they are.

How to self-advocate for yourself?

Although many doctors are trying to be better in trusting their patients more than common stereotypes and organizations are trying to advocate for discriminated communities, you might still find yourself in a situation where you feel looked upon and uncomfortable in front of your doctor.

So, what to do now? Something that I highly encourage you to do, is to file a complaint. Most healthcare facilities have HR departments that take care of those. You might feel like this won’t do much for you, but this is a strong form of self-advocacy. Do not underestimate it.

Nonetheless, the moment you feel that a doctor is acting biased toward you and you feel uncomfortable, change the doctor. Try different ones until you find the right fit for you. We can help you see that you should never settle for less.