Pediatricians have role to play in addressing racism

Pediatricians have role to play in addressing racism

(HealthDay)—Pediatricians should play a role in advocating to redress biases and inequalities in the health system and other systems, according to a policy statement published online July 29 in Pediatrics.

Maria Trent, M.D., M.P.H., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues address the impact of racism on child and adolescent health. The authors note that pediatricians and other child health professionals should be prepared to discuss and counsel families of all races on the effect of exposure to racism. Pediatricians should implement systems in their practice to ensure that all patients and families know that they are welcome and will receive high-quality care, regardless of background. Pediatricians should also examine their own biases and advocate for community initiatives and collaborations to redress biases and inequalities in the health, justice, and education systems.

In a linked study, Krista Sigurdson, Ph.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature documenting racial/ethnic disparities in care for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit setting; 41 articles were included. The researchers identified complex racial and/or in structure, process, and outcome measures; infants of color, especially African-American infants, were most often disadvantaged.

"A combination of strategies will be needed to begin untangling the thread of racism throughout the fabric of our society, and to improve the health of all children," Trent said in a statement.

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More information: Policy Statement
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Journal information: Pediatrics

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