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J Natl Med Assoc. 2009 Aug;101(8):800-7.

Blacks' and whites' attitudes toward race and nativity concordance with doctors.

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Department of Sociology, University of Cincinnati, PO Box 210378, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0378, USA.


While research shows that race is an important factor in patient-doctor interaction, very little is known about patients' attitudes toward doctors' race or nativity. This paper examines 2 specific components of these attitudes. We found that 16% of a Cincinnati, Ohio, sample believed that same-race doctors better understand their health problems, and 22% expected to be more at ease with same-race doctors. Blacks were more likely than whites to hold this belief and expectation, with the largest racial difference among those with college degrees. Looking at nativity, nearly one-third of the respondents believed that US-born doctors better understand their health problems and expected to be more at ease with US-born doctors. Again, blacks were more likely than whites to report a more positive view of US-born doctors compared to foreign-born doctors, with the effect of race varying by education. Future research should further explicate the nature of these attitudes and assess how these attitudes affect health care interactions.

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