Black Patients Often Misdiagnosed Due to Racial Bias

A black patient holds hands with a caregiver after dealing with racial bias

When we place our health in the hands of medical professionals, we entrust them to help make us better. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the very same people we trust to make us better end up making us worse through racial bias.

Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), medical errors in clinics and hospitals across the country conclude in about 100,000 deaths each year. 

Diagnostic Errors

One type of medical error is diagnostic errors. The NIH reports that the overall misdiagnosis rate is 10 to 15 percent. Unfortunately, sometimes these diagnostic errors occur due to racial bias that often occur in medical education. This may in part contribute to the reason as to why Black people very frequently have their conditions misdiagnosed or even missed, and why they have the lowest life expectancy of any major racial group in the country. 

For example, dermatologists are generally taught how to detect skin conditions on white skin, which teaches them what to look for on white skin. However, it’s not always as clearly taught how to detect the same conditions on pigmented skin. At best the failure to detect all types of medical conditions in Black people is an inconvenience and at worst it is life-threatening. But regardless of severity, it is medical malpractice.

More Comprehensive Medical Education May Be Needed to Prevent Racial Bias

This is indicative that more comprehensive education and treatment methods are necessary in order to equally care for all patients. If a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or missed diagnosis occurs, under medical malpractice law this could be considered negligence. If this negligence is able to be clearly proven and is the direct or indirect cause of one’s injuries, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. 

Victims of medical malpractice often suffer both physical and emotional injuries, which cause lost wages, continued medical expenses, and pain and suffering. A successful claim for medical malpractice could help to cover these damages. This is why it can be extremely helpful to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorney. 

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those in NM Who Have Been Injured as a Result of Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one has been injured or has died as a result of medical malpractice, you should not have to pay the price for someone else’s mistakes. It can be difficult enough dealing with extensive injuries, but it can be even harder when you are left to pick up the pieces financially. 

At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of medical malpractice and understand the effects that such accidents often have on just about all aspects of your life. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Medical Malpractice