Black Patients Most Likely to Self-Discharge From Hospital
A nationwide study of self-discharge by researchers Said A. Ibrahim, C. Kent Kwoh and Eswar Krishnan found that patients discharged against medical advice were, in general, younger in age, men, and of low socioeconomic status. More African-Americans than members of other racial/ethnic groups were self-discharged. One hypothesis is that African-American patients’ perceptions of disrespect and of receiving unfair treatment in the health care system may contribute to their higher frequency of self-discharge.
Not Enough Black Doctors
Researchers have found that Blacks report higher patient satisfaction and greater participatory decision-making when they have a Black doctor (the same is true for patients of other races). A 2005 study published in the “Annals of Family Medicine” showed that Black patients with Black doctors were 140 percent more likely to rate their physician as excellent than if they had a doctor of another race. But because Black doctors are still in a considerable minority, most Black patients are unlikely to have a Black doctor. The latest survey found that the percentage of Black doctors in the U.S. was less than 4 percent.