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Medical Racism Alive and Well

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Getting It Right With Dr Boles

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I was in New York City recently attending a medical conference at the Jacob Jarvits Convention Center. There were"big" name academicians in the star roles of presenting the latest guidelines for the practice of medicine in the United States. Some of the speakers had accents thick with the intonations of their native tongue which was not English. Some talked about themselves and their "house officers" within the hallowed halls of century-old institutions. Some showed graphs that were impossible to read despite being displayed on six screens simultaneously. There were even several "virtual" presentations, yes,  holographic lectures and cross interviews. Only one professor earned that title as he presented an eloguent lecture on auscultations illustrating sounds that he verbally described. He was entertaining and thorough.

On the last day of the conference,  all presentations were centered around patient cases. The scholars from the IVY towers were out of their elements and their antithesis for ethnic patients manifested. The patient that was the subject of discussion was a Black American 61 year old female who had diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides. The "expert" panel began by stating that so many pathologies were present that "could be corrected by lifestyle changes". One panelist continued to say that "those people" are unlikely to make necessary life changes so a variety of pills were suggested. The case scenerio continued describing how the patient's kidneys were in early stage  of insufficiency and diabetes (HbA1c) was not being well controlled and over 5 years of follow, the patient had a heart attack. The outspoken expert stated, " now maybe the patient will be motivated to listen since she has had a heart attack". This "expert" revealed his contempt for the patient and not her condition. WOW.

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