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Structural racism--a 60-year-old black woman with breast cancer.

Pallok K, De Maio F, Ansell DA. Structural racism--a 60-year-old black woman with breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2019;380(16):1489-1493. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1811499.

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April 10, 2019
Pallok K, De Maio F, Ansell DA. N Engl J Med. 2019;380(16):1489-1493.

This editorial discusses how structural racism contributes to health inequities between blacks and whites in the United States, with an emphasis on cancer care. The authors propose three strategies for addressing structural racism in healthcare: (1) clinicians can make the invisible visible by examining disparities in their practices and exploring disparities in patient-level quality measures; (2) health care organizations can engage the community in an effort to change the accepted explanatory narrative, from one about biology or behavior to a story of a pathological social system that can be improved, and; (3) institutions can make systemic changes to eliminate structural racism by engaging in quality improvement efforts, educating healthcare workers, updating technical skills, and using patient navigators to connect patients to necessary services.

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Pallok K, De Maio F, Ansell DA. Structural racism--a 60-year-old black woman with breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2019;380(16):1489-1493. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1811499.