Medical Segregation: Most Minority Patients See Minority Doctors

Across the country, new online insurance marketplaces are open for business as part of the new federal health overhaul. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

In a new JAMA study, Asian, Hispanic and Black patients were 19-26 times more likely to be care for by a minority physician of their same race. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

When we look at healthcare for disadvantaged and low-income patients, we see what could be called “medical segregation.”

A report just out finds that black, Hispanic and Asian physicians play an outsized role nationally in the care of minority and low-income patients. In other words, patients with low incomes, and racial and ethnic minorities who rely on Medicaid and often don’t speak English, tend to get their medical care from doctors who are also minorities.

The new study was published Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. In many ways, the findings aren’t surprising, but they do raise some troubling issues.


Dr. Lyndonna Marrast, lead author of the JAMA study and physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance

Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog


JAMA Internal Medicine: Minority Physicians’ Role in the Care of Underserved Patients

CommonHealth: Medical Segregation: Most Minority Patients See Minority Doctors

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