In this video posted by Wonder Collective on Youtube, Dr.Esteban Bruchard gives a general overview of how racial biases have been implemented into medicine and general science. Primarily, Dr.Esteban Bruchard shed light on the exclusion of minorities from clinical research. By doing this the scientific conclusions had to be generalized to other groups who haven’t been included in the research. Specifically, a graphic that was shown in the video, showed that a drastic 81% of the participants of a “Recent genome study” were European. Other races making up only 19% of the participants. The underrepresentation of other races will cause an inability to properly assess certain situations regarding other races. An example of this, as touched upon in the video, was how a difference in gene frequency in Blacks caused many African-Americans to be misdiagnosed with an enlarged heart.
This isn’t the only instance of racial biases affecting science and medicine. In an article by Mathieu Rees, the topic of racism in healthcare is further discussed. Rees, dives into how certain aspects such as pregnancy, emergency care, pain treatment, etc. One thing that Rees highlights in his summary is that these racial biases can lead to inaccurate diagnoses. Rees also uses some statistics to show the racial disparities in healthcare. A specific statistic that I found alarming was a study that was conducted with white medical students in 2016. In this study, “73% held at least one false belief about the biological differences between races”. Examples of some of their beliefs were “Black people having thicker skin, less sensitive nerve endings, or stronger immune systems.” Not only are these biases alarming because of the obvious racial assumptions, but it is also so problematic because the people with these preconceived notions are those who will potentially be leading the healthcare of the future.
Going forward there are many steps that need to be taken to prevent the prevalence of racial biases in healthcare and sciences. One big step that can be taken is the involvement of more POC in the science world. Not only in hospitals as leading figures like doctors and physicians, but also as participants in things like clinical trials, advanced studies, etc. Also, the acknowledgment of various “social factors that affect health outcomes“. Finally, addressing these biases head on is one of the best ways to avoid them from being prominent in the line of work and in the development of science.