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Acad Emerg Med. 2003 Nov;10(11):1289-93.

Racial and ethnic disparities in health: an emergency medicine perspective.

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George Washington University, Department of Emergency Medicine, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


Significant disparities exist in health care based on race. Even when controlling for socioeconomic factors, minorities still have lower rates of utilization for certain procedures, higher mortality rates, and differences in usual source of care. There are a multitude of causes for these disparities, including differences based on access to care, the patient-doctor relationship, and insurance status. This article addresses possible factors that account for persistent disparities in health based on race and suggests approaches to remedying these disparities. Although many studies have been done on this topic, further research is needed to examine factors specifically in the emergency department setting.

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