From Slavery To Present: Why Blacks Distrust Healthcare Pt. 1


Dr. Richard Allen Williams National Medical Association NMAAs the leader of the National Medical Association, I have the responsibility to provide a perspective to our constituents on key issues in Medicine that are important to us and to the patients whom we serve. One of those issues is TRUST, which has special meaning to people who have been subjected to so many abuses and indignities over the past 400 years.

In the tradition and in memory of the late legendary Howard University School of Medicine professor, civil rights activist, former NAACP president, past president of the National Medical Association, philosopher, and my personal mentor and hero, W. Montague Cobb, MD, Ph.D, who was also Editor Emeritus of this Journal, I submit the following perspective on this topic, which will be incorporated into my forthcoming book, Blacks in Medicine: Clinical, Demographic, and Socioeconomic Correlations (Springer Science & Media, 2017).

 I. Historical Retrospective

It is axiomatic that patients must trust their doctors, otherwise the treatment that would be given will not succeed. The purpose of this article is to explore the elements of trust as applied to the doctor-patient relationship, especially as it is viewed by African American and other minority patients and healthcare providers. It is necessary to go back in history and determine what the situation has been for African Americans, because our history has