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Racial Bias in Emergency Rooms

This article is more than 12 years old.

Deeply embedded attitudes about race influence the way doctors care for black patients, according to a new study from Harvard University.

The study of internal and emergency room medical residents in Boston and Atlanta found a link between implicit racial biases and how effectively doctors treated patients with heart disease.

"Most physicias want to do their best for all patients regardless of race and ethnicty," said Dr. Alexander R. Green, researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital. "This is not so much an issue of overt racism but rather an issue of unconscious biases."

Previous research has shown that black patients in the midst of a heart attack are far less likely than white patients to receive clot-busting drugs.

This program aired on July 20, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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