Demystifying Medicine One Month at a Time

Tag: MLK

Disparities

In honor of MLK day, health care disparities merit mention.

The National Institutes of Health have several good webpages with different analyses of what health disparities are and in what instances they exist in the U.S.

Health disparities are gaps in the quality of health and health care that occur linked to socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic background, and education level.

As but one example, in Tulsa County, Okla., if you’re born in a north Tulsa neighborhood (see the dark zip codes below), on average you’ll live fourteen years less than you would if born further to the south.

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When I’m reminded of this fact, it shocks me that we live in 21st century America. Then I realize that this occurs in many more places. Something to think about as we enjoy our day off.

In Honor of the Day

You may remember a previous post in which I related the story of my conversations with two special men, both of whom had retired. One was a biochemist; the other a rabbi. Both lived through the civil rights movement. The rabbi marched in Selma, Alabama, among other places.

Both men are now deceased.

One of the treasures found in going through the rabbi’s papers is posted below. Written in 1963, the letter’s closing seems prophetic as much today as it was then: “Although the days are now dark, I am convinced that we stand on the threshold of our nation’s bright tomorrows.”

Humble efforts indeed.

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