Research program provides roadmap to eliminate racism in emergency medicine

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In 2021, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) held a consensus conference, From Bedside to Policy: Advancing Social Emergency Medicine and Population Health, which included identifying priority areas for future research and implementation science related to race, racism, and anti-racism in emergency medicine (EM).

In an effort to identify and summarize existing research and establish the EM research agenda in these areas, researchers from institutions across the country, including Boston University’s Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine , conducted a literature review of articles addressing how race and/or racism affects emergency medical care, including access, use, treatment, outcomes, experience patient or provider experience in the emergency department.

Although more overt forms of racist rhetoric are less likely to be seen in the 21st century, many treatments and guidelines used today were developed based on research that conceptualized race as a biological rather than a social construct. »


Emily Cleveland Manchanda, MD, MPH, corresponding author, assistant professor of emergency medicine

Among their discoveries:

  • MI and adjacent fields have extensively documented racial inequalities in access, use, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes over many decades. Despite this, very few studies have explicitly investigated racism or anti-racism in SE in any capacity.
  • The majority of included studies were observational. Methods of reporting racial and ethnic inequalities varied across studies, and many did not clearly report racial and ethnic data collection methods.
  • Of the 187 studies included in the review, only six evaluated an intervention to reduce racial inequality.

According to the researchers, key research priorities were informed by this review and refined through a robust consensus process that included input from community organizations across the country. The research agenda presented in this article provides a roadmap for addressing and eliminating racism and other systems of oppression in emergency medicine.

“While the harmful consequences of racism in emergency medicine have been well documented in nearly every facet of our literature, the research agenda proposed in this study will help us move beyond identifying the problem and developing solutions that address the root causes of racial health. In particular, we have identified an urgent need for researchers to focus on developing evidence-based interventions to address racism and other systems oppression in health care,” added Cleveland Manchanda, who is also associate director of the Ravin Davidoff Executive Fellowship in Health Equity program at Boston Medical Center and director of social justice education and implementation at the American Medical Association.

These results are published online in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine.

Source:

Boston University School of Medicine

Journal reference:

Darby, A. et al. (2022) Race, racism and anti-racism in emergency medicine: literature review and research agenda for the future. University emergency medicine. doi.org/10.1111/acem.14601.

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