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Why Affirmative Action Still Matters in Medicine. And Probably Always Will…
The Health Care Blog

I am an emergency room physician who has worked at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital for 17 years. I am also the first black woman to ever be hired as a faculty member, and thus have had the opportunity to teach students and doctors in training. Given that 85% of the patients of the 120,000 patients that cross our threshold annually are black, my hiring carried enormous symbolic weight. Beyond the symbolism, I’ve found a real effect on patient care. There are a few earlier studies which suggest that patients prefer doctors who look like them if given the opportunity.