Use of Race in Clinical Diagnosis and Decision Making: Overview and Implications

Written by on December 9, 2021


Despite race being a socio-political system of categorization without a biologic basis, race has historically and continues to play a role in medical teaching and clinical decision making within health care. Race permeates clinical decision making and treatment in multiple ways, including: (1) through providers’ attitudes and implicit biases, (2) disease stereotyping and clinical nomenclature, and (3) clinical algorithms, tools, and treatment guidelines. While some diseases have higher prevalence among individuals with certain genetic ancestry, genetic ancestry is poorly correlated with commonly used social racial categories. The use of race to inform clinical diagnoses and decision making . . .

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