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October 19, 1994

Ethnicity and Estimates of Pain by Physicians-Reply

JAMA. 1994;272(15):1169. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520150034027

In Reply.  —Dr Howell makes a good point regarding our study, namely, that physician ethnicity or cultural background may play an important role in the physician/patient encounter. We were unable to detect an effect of physician ethnicity in either of our studies examining ethnicity and pain management, but given the numbers of nonwhite physicians in our practice setting, we have limited power to examine this issue.1 We suspect that the assimilation process involved in medical training produces physicians that are more alike than not, and we encourage others to examine this question.Dr Young takes us to task for using the term "race" in a table heading and the term "racial bias" in our discussion. He also states that we categorized Hispanics as a separate racial group. That was not our intention. We examined ethnic and cultural differences, not genetics. We hope that no one else was confused on