Of course, in the U.S., it’s much of the same.
Black people and those from other minority groups, particularly those who suffer with chronic pain, often become victims of a healthcare system in which discrimination, implicit bias, and healthcare disparities exist.
Some providers have false notions about certain racial and ethnic groups, assumptions are often made, and symptoms aren’t taken seriously, leaving many undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or inappropriately treated.
COVID-19 shone an even brighter light on the inequities that exist, most notably in the death of Dr. Susan Moore, a Black woman and physician who died from complications of the virus.
In a viral video, she explained how she was “treated like a drug addict” when she was refused pain medication by her doctor. Even as a physician, she had to advocate for herself, all the while pushing back on racism and sexism.
As a physician, I know, however, that identifying and treating pain has its own unique set of challenges, including addressing the opioid crisis, and preventing unnecessary treatment and overprescribing habits. While solving for these complex issues will take time, greater awareness and new approaches are vital.