March 23, 2002

Minorities Get Inferior Medical Care, Even with Same Insurance plans, Study Finds

Minorities Get Inferior Medical Care, Even with same Insurance plans, Study Finds - NYT - Let me explain what's really going on, because the article of course fails to. It's too satisfied with abstract explanations like "racism." If you want good medical care, you can't leave it up to your doctor. You have to get on the Web and research what's wrong with you and what the possible treatments are. Then you have to stand up to your doctor and make him do what it takes to cure you. White people are a lot pushier with their doctors than black people, so they get better medical care.

For example, I had a horrible, convulsive cough for six weeks. I went to my doctor and he prescribed some stuff, but none of it worked. Then the coughing became debilitating - I'd suddenly start coughing, then gasping for air, then gagging, then vomiting. That kind of cuts down on your social life (although I was losing weight nicely on the Blow Chow Diet). So, I got on the Internet and figured out I had Whooping Cough (pertussis). My doctor didn't believe me - whooping cough is rare these days - but I had a stack of printouts showing that my symptoms were precisely those of whooping cough in adults. So, I eventually badgered him into giving me Erythromycin, the antibiotic for pertussis. Within two days, the coughing was under control (although it comes back when I overwork).

So, to improve health care for blacks, encourage them to probingly question their doctors and to do research on the web.

This illustrates something I try to do - relate big political, social, and racial issues to daily life. Too many journalists just use a prefabricated set of abstract concepts for thinking about race, and never examine how it actually plays out in the real world.

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