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Public Health

Diversity In Healthcare Can Save Lives

A woman getting her blood pressure tested.
Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash
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A woman getting her blood pressure tested.

Time and again, research has shown that increased diversity is beneficial to society and the world. In nature, biodiversity is essential for the survival of entire ecosystems. In workplaces, differing world views and experiences lead to innovation, creativity and increased production. Awareness of the need for diversity has certainly increased in recent decades, but many industries are struggling to recruit people from differing backgrounds. That can have a chilling effect, especially if that industry is one that touches everyone, like healthcare.

In this episode of Science Distilled, hosts Paul Boger and Kathleen Masterson take a look at how a lack of diversity in the healthcare industry can impact a person’s health. How can a dermatologist effectively diagnosis a patient of color if they’ve only used training materials based on white skin? And what happens if a language barrier prevents sick or injured patients from seeking care?

The topic was discussed earlier this year at the Science Distilled lecture series produced by the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum and the Desert Research Institute—both in Reno, Nevada. In this episode, we talk about the lack of diversity within the field of dermatology, and how it has affected the diagnosis and treatment of patients of color.

We also examine the challenges non-English speakers face when seeking medical care. That’s something Dr. Julie Lucero, Director of the Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno spoke about during the Science Distilled lecture earlier this year.

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