Dr. Tyeese Gaines: Fewer Black Children Receive Antibiotics

Source: Dr. Tyeese Gaines / theGrio

Black children are less likely to receive a prescription antibiotic than their nonblack counterparts — even when treated by the same health provider — according to a study published today in Pediatrics.

The findings are based on 1.3 million doctor visits with the same 222 providers, and were independent of age, gender or type of insurance.

This is not the first time research has shown racial biases among health professionals. A smaller study at the University of Washington, showed that unconscious racial biases affected the amount of pain medication given to black children when they needed it. And a Johns Hopkins study highlighted that primary physicians with unconscious racial biases tended to dominate conversations with black patients, ignore their social needs and exclude them from the decision-making process.

However, today’s study is one of the few to look at its effects on respiratory infections and antibiotic use in children.

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