Woke threatens your health

WSJ Wokeness in health care

If there is any place in our lives where unbiased critical thinking is required, it is health care, but woke delusions are even polluting our lives there.

There are racial differences that affect health that have nothing to do with racism. Forcing physicians to pretend otherwise will make those outcomes worse.

35 thoughts on “Woke threatens your health

  1. The article in the WSJ revolves around this assertion: “There’s no credible evidence that physicians are racist ” even as the author cites “2,700 recent papers on ‘racism and medicine,’ which generally purport to show physician bias leading to racial disparities in health outcomes. . .”

    His unsupported assertions and huffing about being thought of as “racist” are NOT countervailing evidence.

    Based on the EVIDENCE of those 2,700 papers, it seems that the observed racial disparities in healthcare outcomes are at least partly due to “physician bias” and that steps to increase awareness – especially physician self-awareness – of such unconscious bias are not inappropriate.

    As an aside, this is the same commentator who took umbrage at the American College of Physicians treating poor gun control as a public health issue a few years back. It is not surprising to me to see him now trying to exacerbate white resentment as racial disparities are being addressed. The two “issues” – “gun rights” and “reverse discrimination” are often connected in “conservative” minds.

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    1. RE: “Based on the EVIDENCE of those 2,700 papers, it seems that the observed racial disparities in healthcare outcomes are at least partly due to ‘physician bias’ and that steps to increase awareness – especially physician self-awareness – of such unconscious bias are not inappropriate.”

      You might have a point if the 2,700 papers were credible. However, we can throw out half of them just on the basis of the well-known “replication crisis” in the social sciences.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis

      WSJ’s author hints at this when he writes: “Yet the most commonly cited studies are shoddily designed, ignore such critical factors as pre-existing conditions, or reach predetermined and sensationalized conclusions that aren’t supported by reported results. These papers in turn are used to source even more shoddy research. This is a corruption of medical science in service to political ideology.”

      The possibility of maybe some evidence of physician bias is a pretty weak justification for social justice warfare within the medical community.

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      1. “You might have a point if the 2,700 papers were credible.”

        You might have a point if you have some evidence that these 2700 papers are NOT credible. This partisan fellow disparaging the research is not a very compelling reason to believe that these studies by many different researchers are ALL wrong. Say only 10% of them are well-designed. That is still compelling evidence for the role of bias in the observed disparate outcomes.

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        1. RE: “That is still compelling evidence for the role of bias in the observed disparate outcomes.”

          Not really. It is obviously fallacious to believe that 10% of the evidence is proof of anything.

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    2. The fact that there are 2700 articles on racism on medicine is sufficient evidence that groupthink is at work.

      But by all means, cling to that woke ideology, it will serve my side well in November.

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      1. “The fact that there are 2700 articles on racism on medicine is sufficient evidence that groupthink is at work.”

        Or, that there is something there that they are all finding and reporting. Look at how you personally despised those “parasites” you had to serve.

        It is obvious that pretending “woke ideology” is an major threat to the “American Way of Life” (aka White Privilege) is clearly something that “conservatives” think will help them win elections. It is obviously the continuation of their “Southern Strategy” of firing up racists. They may be right. We will see. But being the kind of dummies that they are, they can easily go too far with this nonsense and have the opposite effect. For example, Florida is now banning mathematics books because they see “CRT” at play in them. You think such foolishness will serve “your side” well?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As often happens here, this threads is getting sidetracked on partisan advantage, and the real issue is forgotten.

    Health care should be rational, and wokeness is not.

    After 40 years in healthcare, I can tell you how I looked at caring for patients, and I think my point of view is close to universal in providers.

    Good outcomes within the limits of a patient’s health and disease are a win, and bad outcomes are a loss.

    Race, religion, gender, wealth, none of that matters, it’s personal. Good outcomes are personal wins, bad outcomes are personal failures. Disease is the enemy, the patient is the field of battle.

    I liked most of my patients, but even those I disliked, a bad outcome hurts.

    If someone had told me I had to try harder for some patients than others because of race, I would have found another way to make a living.

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    1. I agree with you that “Health care should be rational”

      There is nothing “rational” about there being measurable and significant differences in outcome based on the race of the patient. And yet there are such differences. And even after rigorous efforts to eliminate other factors, those differences remain. Postulating that there are not biases at play, whether conscious or unconscious, is not rational. Accusing the authors of almost 3,000 papers of incompetence or dishonesty is not rational either. Especially so when the accusations are without any evidence beyond your own pre-conceived ideas.

      You cite yourself as evidence for your postulate. I would note that the essence of unconscious bias is that it is something we are not consciously aware of. Being familiar with your opinions for some years and frequently seeing the double standards you (unconsciously?) apply (white victims are always abused somehow, black victims always caused their own treatment somehow. ALWAYS) I personally suspect that you are not as free of bias as you think you are. Most of us are not.

      But, with that said, you may well be absolutely accurate in assessing that you personally are free of any unconscious bias that would impact your work, but that is one data point out of millions that have been studied. It is not rational to put so much weight on a single anecdotal data point.

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      1. Again, you impose your own perceptions.

        You presume that otherwise unexplained differences in outcome must result from the bias of the practitioner. That discounts patient compliance resulting from cultural differences and genetic differences, which are very real.

        The point I made was that a bias doesn’t matter. It is necessary, if you are going to stay in health care long, to develop a professional detachment.

        The patient is the battlefield. The disease is the enemy. If the disease wins, in that the outcome is not as good as was possible, the doctor has failed. Who the patient is doesn’t matter, it is a personal defeat, and we don’t like losing.

        Professional detachment protects the doctor from the emotional damage from harm coming to his patients(which is sometimes inevitable) and protects the patient from favoritism.

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      2. “Again, you impose your own perceptions.”

        Bullshit!

        I am presuming NOTHING. I am simply repeating the evidence that was reported in the piece that started this thread. Your not liking where the EVIDENCE leads says NOTHING about my perceptions.

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        1. What evidence do you think was presented that supports the premise that disparities in healthcare outcomes are the result of widespread unconscious racism by doctors?

          There is only the presumption that because there are disparities, racism is the only possible cause.

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          1. “What evidence do you think was presented that supports the premise. . .”

            Read the fucking article. You linked to it.

            “Consider what’s happening in medical research. The National Library of Medicine database shows more than 2,700 recent papers on “racism and medicine,” which generally purport to show physician bias leading to racial disparities in health outcomes.”

            The fact that you or this partisan don’t like what they found in these studies is NOT evidence that they are wrong. Your attributing the shared findings to “groupthink” instead of to the reality being studied is an opinion based on nothing but your pre-ordained antipathy to ANY finding that confirms damaging bias in any sphere.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. And what in any of those studies do you think establishes widespread doctor racism as the cause of disparities in outcomes?

            The number of papers published means nothing, other than that the government will fund studies of that kind.

            That’s nothing new, You can get grant money linking anything to climate change, but that doesn’t mean anything other than that the government wants such studies.

            If a conservative billionaire were to fund 2701 studies claiming the opposite, would that change your opinion?

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          3. Your attacks on studies you know nothing about is ridiculous.

            If you had ANY common sense at all you would KNOW that some percentage of medical service providers are bigots whose bigotry affects the quality of the service they provide. Your counter claim based on your own perceptions of your personal purity that there is no bias in the medical services profession – none at all – is also ridiculous.

            What leaves you so blind and irrational? Is it that tough getting along in our society as a white man? When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. What is it that you think you know about those studies?

            Other than the number, which means they were solicited, what makes you think any of them would stand up to examination?

            Is it possible SOME doctors treat patients differently based on race, sure, I replaced one almost 50 years ago. But enough to make it a systemic problem? That would require extraordinary proof,

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          5. Without knowing the quality of any of them, what makes you think they are anything but measures of disparate impact absent any proof of cause?

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          6. “Without knowing the quality of any of them, what makes you think they are anything but measures of disparate impact absent any proof of cause?”

            And what do YOU know about the quality of any of them?

            That is a LOT of published papers and I find it unbelievable that they are ALL “shoddy” as your white victimhood author asserts. Any academic who values their career would not publish work claiming that “physician bias” plays a significant role in the observed disparities in outcomes if they did not address other factors and base their comparisons on otherwise comparable groups. Further, there are similar compelling findings of entrenched bias in almost every aspect of our economy, justice system, and society. Why would healthcare be immune? It is staffed by people too.

            My belief in this matter is supported if even a fraction of these studies is not “shoddy.” You need for them to be virtually ALL “shoddy.” I accept the available evidence as described by YOUR author. Once again, you do not.

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          7. “Well, then where is the list of the studies?
            You don’t even know if they say what they are purported to say”

            I have not read any of the 2,700 studies. Have you? I am simply relying on what YOUR source said about them. Are you now saying that YOUR source is not reliable?

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          8. I’m saying that I do not know what the studies alleged or how they were conducted, but the fact that there were that many on a subject that at most would justify a dozen or so tells me that the studies were commissioned to get a desired result.

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          9. “on a subject that at most would justify a dozen or so . . .”

            That is a pretty solipsistic analysis. Just because a subject is not of much interest to you does not mean that it is not of interest to others. Some people think that generations of extremely poor healthcare outcomes for a large group of people is worth studying.

            I am not sure whom you think has commissioned 2,700 corrupt studies. George Soros, maybe?

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          10. Who? The CDC.

            Do you really think that issue can be viewed 2700 times and not be repetitive? A dozen was being generous, either there is evidence or there isn’t.

            And again, you don’t know what weight those studies placed on provider racism vs cultural or genetic influences.

            You’re just impressed by the number. But if something is wrong once, 2700 duplicates won’t change that.

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          11. You really ought to review and reflect on your decision to post this BS in the first place (“a threat to your health? Really?), and your emotional, stubborn, and irrational resistance to the evidence cited by YOUR source that there IS actually a problem of “physician bias.” Let’s see . . .
            Peer review is meaningless.
            These studies must be bought by “someone.”
            There are too many studies finding the same thing.
            These studies are Murphy projecting.
            Tabor has no bias so, these studies are ALL wrong.
            ALL of these studies are shoddy and miss other reasons for differences.
            If the evidence is not obvious, there is no evidence.
            Unless Tabor can review the details, a study is useless.
            etc.
            etc.
            Ad nauseum.

            I suppose you posted the CDC link to mock them and their efforts to address a real issue. Again, why would you do that? There is no problem if Tabor does not see a problem – is that it?

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          12. I posted the CDC link to illustrate the fact that the CDC is soliciting those papers.

            And WOKE medicine does adversely affect our health. Did you forget that the vaccine rollout was structured to delay vaccination of elderly citizens because whites were ‘over represented’ in that group. Or that while Paxlovid was scarce, being Black had priority over the elderly.

            Rationing of medical services based on racial equity very definitely results in unnecessary death and suffering.

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  3. This whole concept of physicians creating bad outcomes or disparities in Healthcare based on “racism” or some bias stinks of sheer stupidity. The largest percentage of disparity derives from genetic differences and cultural indifference to medical care. An example would be sickle cell disease. Blacks are vastly more susceptible to SCD than anyone else. It’s genetic, stupid, not racist.

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    1. Of course, you are correct. There are many possible causes of the observed disparity of outcomes. Some are far more significant than unconscious bias in physicians. Poverty is probably the most important. Being poor is dangerous to your health and minorities are disproportionately in that group. The reason for that is for another day.

      With that said, any published study that expects its finding of physician bias to stand up to peer-review will identify and exclude genetic, cultural, and socio-economic differences before reaching the conclusion that this WSJ article says they reached.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Peer review has become so incestuous that it is of far less value than you might think.

        Unless the study is available for independent review, we can’t rely on it.

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        1. “Peer review has become so incestuous . . .”

          LOL!

          I get it. People who study epidemiology are ALL “corrupt.” Just like those pesky climate scientists. And they ALL get a pass from ALL their peers and publications because they are ALL “corrupt.” And out for grant money. And, what is sad is that it is so easy to spot the ones who are “corrupt.” They are the ones whose findings you do not like.

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          1. First, what makes you think the “studies” were done by epidemiologists? They might be, or they might be done by sociologists, or poly sci, or some even less rigorous major,

            You don’t know what the studies concluded.

            You don’t know what the criteria are, or the methods.

            There are many problems with peer review. With so many articles being published, an academic called upon to review a proposed paper might well be a co author of another study with the author he is reviewing, or the author he is reviewing might eb reviewing his work the next week.

            Hence the term ‘Pal Review’

            But for certain, the more articles published on a topic, the more certain there will be such incestuous overlaps.

            So, until I can see the list and sample the papers, they mena very little to me.

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