When I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Andrea Roane on WUSA Channel 9 news she questioned me about medical providers who “look like” their patients and how that equates to trust?
As I reflect on the interview I think it’s important to delve into this idea. It may start with African-American patients desiring for their physicians to look like them but that’s just the beginning.
If we are to build a true culture of trust then it’s important for me and other Black medical providers to use this innate trust to buildup the trust of our fellow colleagues and the system as a whole. Historically, if we revisit the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis, from 1932-1972, this was a research tragedy that has led blacks to mistrust white medical providers. During the study the African-American Men In Alabama were observed with untreated syphilis to observe the progression of the disease. Rather than being treated many died and succumbed to the horrific illness.
Almost 50 years later this infamous trial is still the foundation for some of the mistrust that exists in our community. But I want us to bond together to move past this trial because we need minorities involved in the current and future clinical trials to ensure we are a part of the solution & the answer!