Survey: Medical Students Believe African-Americans Feel Less Pain
The University of Virginia survey found there’s an implicit racial bias in how students and medical professionals treat pain.
A new study finds African-American patients are often treated differently when it comes to medicine and care. The survey of more than 500 people, 400 of them medical students, found implicit bias exists that may help explain why black people are sometimes undertreated for pain. Among its findings: Medical students believed that African-Americans felt less pain than white patients, and even thought their skin was thicker. (Ifill, 4/5)
Numerous studies have shown that black patients are less likely than their white counterparts to receive pain medicine for the same injury. Now, new research from the University of Virginia suggests a reason why. It found that a substantial number of white medical students and residents believe black people are less sensitive to pain. (Cornish, 4/5)
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help illuminate one of the most vexing problems in pain treatment today: That whites are more likely than blacks to be prescribed strong pain medications for equivalent ailments. (Somashekhar, 4/4)
A new study reveals that in a group of 222 white medical students, half judged as possibly, probably or definitely true at least one of 11 false beliefs about racial differences. And that is not without potential consequences for the patients these medical students may one day treat, the new research suggests. (Healy, 4/4)
First author Kelly Hoffman, a sixth-year PhD candidate in psychology at the University of Virginia, said that to her knowledge, this is the first study that connects racial bias about biology, racial perception of pain, and the accuracy of medical advice. (Swetlitz, 4/4)