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April 14, 2015

Race, Poverty, and Medicine in the United States

Author Affiliations
  • 1Editor in Chief, JAMA
JAMA. 2015;313(14):1423. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.2262

I spent most of my career at the Boston City Hospital, now known as Boston Medical Center, that has emphasized “exceptional care without exception.” At Boston City Hospital the 2 worlds of race and poverty collide on an almost daily basis. Under the 4-decade leadership of 2 pediatric chairs, Joel Alpert, MD, and Barry Zuckerman, MD, and continuing under the current chair Robert Vinci, MD, the Department of Pediatrics expanded the boundaries of traditional medicine. In addition to providing care for medical problems such as asthma, HIV/AIDS, seizures, prematurity, and sickle cell disease, the department is committed to addressing issues of poverty, violence, poor housing, and food insecurity.

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