Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lack of Tailored Counseling Causing Racial Disparities?

A recently published study assessing racial differences in diabetes management in the US has revealed marked racial disparities in patient outcomes, independent of treating physician. The author suggests the discrepancy may in fact be due to a blanket approach by physicians. I.e. Far from discriminating, instead doctors are treating all patients similarly without acknowledging possible socio-cultural effects on treatment.

"I feel like the issue may more be that the doctors are treating all the patients the same — and if you treat all the patients the same you won't get the same outcomes because patients don't face the same challenges," he says. "We're not tailoring our counseling to the needs of our patients" says Thomas Sequist, lead author of the study and an internist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.