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Why Black People Don’t Trust Doctors w/ Dr. Rashawn Ray

Black people don’t like to go to the doctor. That’s something we’ve heard and experienced time and time again, and it doesn’t just come out of nowhere. There’s a deep history of medical trauma and mistrust in the black community, and it makes total sense that black people don’t want to go somewhere they don’t feel safe or seen. Today we’re talking with Dr. Rashawn Ray about the impacts of living in a racialized healthcare system. 

Dr. Rashawn Ray, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, is Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also one of the co-editors of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public. Formerly, Ray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. 


In This Episode We’ll Cover:

  • The history of medical mistrust within the black community and how this ties into black people not wanting to go to the doctor 
  • Systemic conditions that impact racial health disparities 
  • How these systemic conditions have manifested during COVID
  • Things health care providers can do to make their care more inclusive and compassionate 
  • Ways patients can be better advocates for themselves when stepping into a doctors office + MORE! 


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