Bob Vulfov Speaks The Truth Even in Jest…

This is germane to not only events in a America right now, but also disparities in healthcare.

AS YOUR DOCTOR, I AM PROTESTING THE REMOVAL OF YOUR TUMOR BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO ERASE YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY

That article is tongue in cheek of course.

It did get me thinking about how the healthcare system treats what they label as ” ethnic disparities” “or “healthcare disparities” to make it sound more palatable, rather than calling out the problems for what they are — prejudices.

I have had my share of battles in the healthcare system, but I can’t deny I’ve come out of jams that might fell others due to the color of my skin alone.

White privilege in healthcare DOES exist whether people believe it does or not.

I’ve experienced firsthand some of my friends of other cultures & ethnicities have a harder road, or be subject to shaming, or else-while labeled “non-compliant”, when in fact they have followed the exact same regimens & instructions I have. They’ve been shamed and/or blamed due to biases.

I’m not going into specifics here to protect people’s privacy & dignity but I’m getting sick of witnessing these experiences in the healthcare system, too.

I didn’t turn a blind eye to it then, just wasn’t sure how to speak out against it.

Still not sure how to change the system either, but I’m not going to sit back & pretend it doesn’t happen.  Maybe getting people to acknowledge & think about it is a start.

It’s also a known fact in healthcare that certain cultures may have to wait longer for their organ transplants.  There are measures trying to address these “disparities” which should have been addressed years ago, better late than never, but there’s still a long road.  I’m going to leave it here just with a mention, since many entities I see now are making real, tangible steps to address it & stop it, but it’s been a long time coming.

Some people subject to such disparities also live in underserved areas or have to go farther & get second opinions on sometimes even seemingly “straightforward” problems which costs them even more time & expense.

They have to deal with paternalism, anti-semitism, racism, amongst other social stigmas based on their diagnosis(/diagnoses) each time they set their foot in the door in the system. If one identifies as disabled then there’s of course, ableism to deal with as the cherry on top.

This isn’t just about a census label or classification or means of gathering “metrics” in healthcare.  It’s much deeper than that.  It’s about dismantling harmful attitudes (both on the doctor & patient sides of the equation.)

We need to identify & disassemble white supremacy & institutional racism, even when it’s known by “soft” or  “covert” (socially acceptable) supremacy & excise it completely in healthcare & other parts of life.

Just because someone hasn’t experienced it firsthand, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

It’s important if we bear witness to support our friends as they wish to be supported & speak out when it occurs, period.

(Healthcare professionals are not immune from supremacy themselves either professionally or personally either, I might add.  It’s not only within the healthcare system itself, but they also might find themselves targets as well from colleagues, institutions, or sometimes their own patients on or off the clock.  I’ve seen plenty of those instances, too.)

I found this infographic on a Green Party member’s Facebook page & it made a lot of sense to me, so I downloaded it & am sharing it here.

There isn’t a citation on it, so I’m not sure where it originated to give credit, but it seems to be circulating on several different social media sites.

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Featured Image: Bob Vulvov. Taken from his page on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

 

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