Racial Categories in Medical Practice: How Useful Are They?

Braun, Lundy; Fausto-Sterling, Anne; Fullwiley, Duana; Hammonds, Evelynn M.; Nelson, Alondra; Quivers, William; Reverby, Susan M.; Shields, Alexandra E.

Sorting patients by race may seem useful during a time-constrained interview, but we argue that acting on rapid racial assessment can lead to missed diagnoses and inappropriate treatments. Both historical evidence and
contemporary genetic research suggest that “racial profiling” in medicine can lead to serious medical errors. Assessing risk through race is more problematic than its typical depiction in the media and in scholarly literature


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July 14, 2014