Reducing racial disparities within the practice of medicine will take work by elementary-school teachers, high-school counselors, college programs, med schools and mentor physicians. But the work starts with letting Black and Latino kids know they have the right to dream.
Adine Usher was diagnosed with breast cancer. She felt upset and worried. Following her surgery, when she had to find a cancer specialist, she learned about a doctor who was conducting a study using the newest cancer medicines. The doctor she found enrolled her in a clinical trial. Now healthy and doing well, she credits the trial with having saved her life.
More effective doctors and better hospitals would narrow New York City’s vast health disparities, but probably not enough. Hence the growing interest in what some call lay health advisers.
Little has been said about the stunning drop in the rate of unplanned pregnancies among teens, which are down by half in this century. Figuring what’s behind that success is key to the ongoing effort to reduce still-high rates of births to teens in several neighborhoods.
Maternal morbidity—moms who get really sick before or after childbirth, sometimes with years-long effects—is a growing problem in New York. Racial health disparities are part of the picture, but so is the uneven quality of the hospitals different communities use.
Seeing a threat to teens and disparities in where the ads appear, some are calling for the MTA to follow Boston’s lead and get ads for wine, beer and booze out of its system.