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  • Writer's pictureCK Hoffler Firm

An Epidemic of Racism in Peer Review: Killing Access to Black and Brown Physicians | Written by CK Hoffler

Updated: May 29


ABSTRACT: Recently, the medical profession has experienced a significant increase in the number of adverse medical staff actions against physicians of color. This crisis is one of epidemic proportions and impact, threatening the economic, physical, and mental well-being of African American physicians and taking a corresponding toll on the health and lives of Black patients, who are already negatively impacted by the systemic racism in the health care system. This article will explore the history, context, and nature of medical staff actions and corresponding legal challenges; health outcomes and the importance of access to physicians of color; the perversion of the peer review process with underlying themes of economic competition, preservation of power, racism, and unconscious bias; and some suggested actions for tangible reform.


Introduction

Medicine is not immune to the larger societal ills. The past few years have shined a spotlight on racial inequities, leading the American Public Health Association,1 American Academy of Pediatrics,2 and the American Medical Association,3 among others, to publicly declare that racism is a public health crisis and to suggest redress in a myriad of different ways.


Mirroring this national crisis at a focused level, the health law bar and the media4 have reported a significant increase in the number of adverse medical staff actions against physicians of color—raising a question among some physicians whether this increase is attributable to an increase in medical staff actions motivated by racism or an increase in the number of physicians of color coming forward to challenge some of these actions. Nonetheless, it is a crisis of epidemic proportions and impact, threatening the economic, physical, and mental well-being of African American physicians, often with devastating impacts to the availability of care to many already underserved patients in this country.


Read the entire peer review at the link below


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