Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 685–691

Transforming Clinical Practice to Eliminate Racial–Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare

  • Donna L. Washington
  • Jacqueline Bowles
  • Somnath Saha
  • Carol R. Horowitz
  • Sandra Moody-Ayers
  • Arleen F. Brown
  • Valerie E. Stone
  • Lisa A. Cooper
  • Writing group for the Society of General Internal Medicine, Disparities in Health Task Force
Perspectives

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-007-0481-0

Cite this article as:
Washington, D.L., Bowles, J., Saha, S. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2008) 23: 685. doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0481-0

Racial–ethnic minorities receive lower quality and intensity of health care compared with whites across a wide range of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic services and disease entities. These disparities in health care contribute to continuing racial–ethnic disparities in the burden of illness and death. Several national medical organizations and the Institute of Medicine have issued position papers and recommendations for the elimination of health care disparities. However, physicians in practice are often at a loss for how to translate these principles and recommendations into specific interventions in their own clinical practices. This paper serves as a blueprint for translating principles for the elimination of racial–ethnic disparities in health care into specific actions that are relevant for individual clinical practices. We describe what is known about reducing racial–ethnic disparities in clinical practice and make recommendations for how clinician leaders can apply this evidence to transform their own practices.

KEY WORDS

racial disparitiesraceethnicityhealth care deliverycultural competenceethnic groupscontinental population groups

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna L. Washington
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jacqueline Bowles
    • 1
    • 2
  • Somnath Saha
    • 3
    • 4
  • Carol R. Horowitz
    • 5
  • Sandra Moody-Ayers
    • 6
  • Arleen F. Brown
    • 2
  • Valerie E. Stone
    • 7
  • Lisa A. Cooper
    • 8
  • Writing group for the Society of General Internal Medicine, Disparities in Health Task Force
  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicineVA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare SystemLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Section of General Internal MedicinePortland Veterans Affairs Medical CenterPortlandUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Health Policy and MedicineMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineSan Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.General Medicine Unit, Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  8. 8.Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA