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Books, Journals, New Media
November 12, 2003

Health Care Disparities

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(18):2487-2488. doi:10.1001/jama.290.18.2487-a

The vast majority of physicians would probably agree that prejudice is morally unacceptable and inconsistent with their professional values. However, we are all influenced by broader social trends, and there is persistent racial and ethnic discrimination in many areas of American life. Disparities in the health care of racial and ethnic minorities continue to exist and are associated with worse health outcomes.

This comprehensive study of the problem and the search for effective ways to solve it was initiated with an act of Congress, which mandated that the Institute of Medicine study disparities in health and health care. Specifically, the institute was given the charge to "assess the extent of racial and ethnic differences in health care that are not otherwise attributable to known factors such as access to care."

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