Project: I am creating a 5 minute video that relates to ethnic disparities in healthcare. I am looking for African American women who have given birth and who felt that they were not listened to, treated fairly, or encountered racism by their doctor or nurses during their pregnancy. Statistic show that African American women are 3 times more likely to die form pregnancy and birth complications when compared to white women. 60% of these deaths were preventable. Many African American women in the articles I have read all say diagnosis were missed or they were not listened to or treated well. Even someone as prevalent as Serena Williams was put at risk by a nurse who would not look at her symptoms and only seen her as a "sterotypical black women" . I will present to my department head and peers. I will not be posting online.
Your Part: I would like to include stories from women who have experienced this issue. A short cell phone video recording or voice recording if you aren’t comfortable with being on camera. The length of the story Is up to you. I will use stats from different medical/peer review journals to back up your stories.
-United States ranks #1 in the world for all maternal deaths in developed countries. -African American maternal deaths were 40.4 per 100,000 live births compared to the 12.1 in white women -African American women had significantly greater odds of dying from hemorrhage or infection when compared to whites. These differences could not be easily explained by differences in patient characteristics such as age, BMI, or socioeconomic indicators. -African American mothers being three times higher than white women. -That 60% of these deaths are preventable. -This study interviewed 40 African American women in the California Bay area of differing socioeconomic backgrounds. A constant emerging theme was racism was experienced in various social setting such as school, work, public, and hospitals. -healthcare providers held preconceived notions about racial groups which resulted in substandard care. And internalized racism which is the acceptance of the stigmatized messages from society and history of the group. The study showed that African Americans receive a lower quality of medical care than compared to whites.
Common Myths Doctors Hold TODAY: -African Americans don’t feel pain like everyone else -African Americans have thicker skin
Common Questions and Statistics:
Do I need to use my real name?: No, you can use a different name if you would like to protect your identity. But if that is not a problem, please feel free to include any personal information such as age, level of schooling, career, etc. Racism affects ALL African Americans in healthcare.
What can I say?: Anything relating to you and your journey navigating the healthcare system and any encountered racism during your pregnancy.
Common themes and Medical Misconceptions: These are some common things came across while reading and speaking to the women who did not want to put their stories out there and misconceptions in the medical community.
*An urgent care doctor wouldn’t touch me while traveling to visit family outside of my state *My doctor assumed I smoked marijuana *My doctors said my symptoms were from my weight *My doctor didn’t believe my symptoms *My doctor wanted to wait to treat my symptoms *I had to bring a white friend/family member/ husband to my appointment to be listened to