Racism of the non-overt variety hinders care and costs billions

There are steps that can be taken now to address this problem.

Institutional racism in health care can best be addressed by a truly diverse workforce. Writing in the Hill, Linda Phillips, the senior director of research and education at the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program at the University of Arizona Center on Aging, notes times she’s seen patients overlooked or not cared for because of race: the Latina patient forced to wait because of a language barrier, or a black man not given pain medicine because of the assumption that he has a high tolerance for pain.

“Our system needs solutions now,” Phillips writes. “These could start with small steps, like California’s recent mandate that physicians, nurses, judges and police officers receive ‘implicit bias’ training.”

She also likes pipeline programs that “facilitate the entry of students of color into undergraduate programs and professional schools such as medicine, nursing and social work.”