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Racism in Health Care



Recognizing racism as a public health threat (2 minute read)

Racial Battle Fatigue (RBF) was a term coined in 2008 by Critical Race Theorist, William Smith. It was originally used in reference to the experiences of African American men in America but is now expanded to describe negative and racially charged experiences of all people of color in the U.S.

As pandemic deaths add up, racial disparities persist (10 minute read)

Today, as the U.S. has nearly reached 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, and reached more than 28 million confirmed cases, racial data is more complete, and the trend is crystal clear: People of color get sick and die of COVID-19 at rates higher than whites and higher than their share of the population.

Structural racism affects healthcare (5 minute read)

Learn about the many factors outside of the control of individual patients, their physicians, or health coverage and how they can impact health outcomes.

Implicit bias and racial disparities in health care (5 minute read)

Black people simply are not receiving the same quality of health care that their white counterparts receive.


Racism and Health (17:42)

A discussion about the effects of racism in healthcare by Dennis Pocekay, retired Kaiser Permanente Physician (Internal Medicine/Occupational Medicine). Pocekay is currently advising HOSA students at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, teaching undergrad Intro to Public Health at UC Davis, and precepting medical students at the Paul Horn Free Asian Clinic in Sacramento. He has long been interested in the social determinants of health.

Black Doctors push for anti-bias training in medicine to combat health inequality (9:05)

Black doctors are calling for the nation's health system to take action to reduce racial inequity in medical care for African Americans. Advocates want training on systemic racial bias in health care to be part of physician education.

Racism as a public health crisis - University of Chicago (45:51)

COVID-19 has increased the disparities facing Black Americans in every aspect of health care — from preventive medicine and maternal health to insurance coverage and hospital access. In the fight for equity, health care continues to be at the forefront of the national dialogue and a focus for medical professionals, lawmakers and academics alike. This discussion focuses on the impacts of this crisis and where we go from here to create better health outcomes for all Americans.


Black voices in healthcare (30 minute episodes)

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the podcast The Nocturnists launched a documentary series, "Black Voices in Healthcare", that aims to use the power of audio storytelling to shed light on racial injustice built into our institutions, our interactions, and our daily lives. The podcasters say their series aims to “highlight the experiences of Black health care workers — their joys, sorrows and everything in between.” It was created by two Black physicians and leaders in the medical humanities, host Ashley McMullen, MD, of San Francisco and executive producer Kimberly Manning, MD, of Georgia.

Why is the pandemic killing so many Black Americans (32:16)

The NY Times explores why the novel coronavirus is killing black Americans at staggeringly higher rates than white Americans. Today, we examine how longstanding inequality is compounding the crisis. On Today’s Episode: Linda Villarosa, a writer for The New York Times Magazine covering racial health disparities, who spoke to Nicole Charles in New Orleans about the death of her husband, Cornell Charles, known as Dickey. He was 51.


  • Black & Blue by John Hoberman
  • Black Man In A White Coat By Damon Tweedy M.D.
  • The Health Gap By Michael Marmot
  • Unmasking Racism in Health Care: Alive and Well By Marie Edwige Seneque
  • Just Medicine: A Cure For Racial Inequality In American Health Care By Dayna Bowen Matthew
  • Medical Apartheid By Harriet A. Washington