MONDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency room patients who
ask to be seen by a physician of their same gender, race or
religious background are not always treated equally, U.S.
The request is most often granted when the patient is a woman, a
racial minority, or a Muslim, a new study finds.
Female doctors are more likely to be supportive of such wishes
than male doctors, said the researchers.
"Some patients prefer, and some are more satisfied with, providers of the same gender, race, or faith. This is the first study to look at the culture of accommodation in the emergency department," study author Dr. Aasim I. Padela, an emergency physician at the University of Michigan Health System, said in a U-M news release.
The researchers said that most black, Hispanic and Asian
patients believe they receive better care from doctors of the same
Reasons why racial minority patients may ask for a doctor of the
same race include prior discrimination, feelings of a lack of
cultural sensitivity, and language difficulties, according to the
About 80 percent of emergency physicians in the United States
are white, and a survey of 176 members of the American College of
Emergency Physicians found that many are unaware of these types of
problems experienced by racial minority patients.
The study appears in the
Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Greater diversity among physicians may help reduce racial health
disparities because doctor and patients who share common values and
language are more likely to develop stable health care
relationships, the researchers said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more