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Crosscurrents

More black doctors means better care for black male patients

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A new clinical trial in the National Bureau of Economic Research studied 1,300 black men in Oakland to see if race was a factor in determining whether they seek preventative care services. Owen Garrick, president and CEO of Bridge Clinical Research, co-wrote the study.

"Black doctors wrote more notes about their interaction compared to the non-black doctors. And there were things about, 'his kids are getting older, going to high school.' They were non-medical notes. There was more information being exchanged in that interaction."

The study found black men were more likely to get preventative care (like flu shots, diabetes screenings, etc.) if they were initially seen by a black doctor, as opposed to a non-black doctor. They were also more likely to talk with black doctors about other health problems. 

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.