Dr. Linda Bradley Discusses Health Disparities in the African American Community

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BDO: How do health disparities affect patients?

Dr. Linda Bradley: Health disparities is a really big issue right now in our country in terms of who gets the care, who gets options, who gets an evaluation, who’s seen on a timely basis.

It’s just a mouthful of things that are going on for our patients. But, in most communities sometimes insurance is portable, meaning you don’t have to stick with one doctor one hospital system. In our city, we have many hospitals and patients, even those who are not wealthy, have the opportunity to be seen. I still think it’s important to seek out another opinion get on a bus, get on a train, get a ride, take uber to get an appointment to see someone.

Some of the disparities happen because of money and so I would just say just be persistent. I mentioned earlier that we may be able to look at virtual visits, where you can talk with a physician by video conferencing. That’s available even with some types of insurance so we have to sort of look at that.

Also if recommendations are made in terms of when I look at disparities sometimes it’s difficult getting in with a doctor or to be seen but make sure that timeliness of follow-up visits are also followed up. Trials are available for certain types of fibroids in particular but not always in all areas. I would just encourage patients to ask their physicians at their center if they happen to know if any trials for therapy are available and be proactive in seeking that out.