Medical Discrimination

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Medical Discrimination

image by: World Health Organization (WHO)

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Discrimination: A Social Determinant Of Health Inequities

It is well understood that stress is a significant predictor of poor mental and physical health and health-harming behaviors, such as alcohol and substance use, poor sleep, and so forth. The unequal distribution of stressors is believed to be a key mechanism that explains health disparities among socially disadvantaged communities. However, researchers and communities alike know that groups such as sexual and gender minorities, women, lower-income people, and communities of color, also face another important stressor more frequently than other groups: discrimination.

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 Discrimination: A Social Determinant Of Health Inequities

Discrimination is unequal treatment based on physical characteristics or social group assignment. While “to discriminate” simply means to divide, or make distinct, to “discriminate against” connotes adverse and unfair treatment of the groups being distinguished based on underlying prejudicial beliefs, stereotypes, or general antagonism toward that target. Discrimination is most often attributed to race, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity, but can be directed toward individuals or communities with a variety of physical and social attributes such as age, body size, ability, social class, or religion—as well as the multiple intersections thereof.

1 in 5 women report mistreatment from medical staff during pregnancy

Forty-five percent of respondents said they were hesitant to approach their provider with questions or concerns during maternity care. They cited reasons such as thinking or being told by friends or family that what they were concerned about was normal, not wanting to be seen as difficult or making a big deal of something or feeling embarrassed, or thinking their provider seemed to be in a hurry.

The Black ObGyn Project

We are Black ObGyn doctors on our journey through residency while promoting anti-racism, equity & inclusion.

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