How Training Doctors in Implicit Bias Could Save Black Mothers' Lives - NECN
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How Training Doctors in Implicit Bias Could Save Black Mothers' Lives

Experts want to target discrimination and "microaggressions" health care workers may not realize they put out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    How Training Doctors in Implicit Bias Could Save Black Mothers' Lives
    Getty Images/Blend Images, File
    Midsection of pregnant Black woman holding belly

    What to Know

    • Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes nationwide

    • One approach to combat this racial disparity in hospitals and medical schools is training providers on implicit bias

    • Thirty-two percent of black women feel they’ve been discriminated against in physicians’ offices

    Each year in the United States, about 700 women die as a result of pregnancy or delivery issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes nationwide. Some theorize the racial disparity in U.S. maternal mortality rates is at least partly caused by institutional racism in our society and health care system, conscious or unconscious.

    For example, Alia McCants gave birth via cesarean section in 2014 and later hemorrhaged, NBC News reported. She recalled her obstetrician was dismissive of her desire to avoid a C-section. And most crucially, a doctor was short with her while explaining warning signs of hemorrhaging, leaving her not immediately able to recognize the danger she was in when the bleeding started.

    One approach to combat this in hospitals and medical schools is training providers on implicit bias — the deeply ingrained stereotypes that everyone has.

    Experts want to target discrimination and "microaggressions" health care workers may not realize they put out. Thirty-two percent of black women feel they’ve been discriminated against in physicians’ offices.