Dr. Nesochi talks about telehealth and medical racism on Well+Good.

Black Patients Are Using Telehealth More—But Can It Address Medical Racism?

by: Sierra Lyons

 

“From a patient’s perspective, it is extremely convenient to connect with a doctor from the safety and comfort of one’s home, especially during this pandemic,” says Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, MD, a provider who has been practicing for over a decade and is currently based in the New York City area. “Telehealth also enables the patient to eliminate any travel barriers in obtaining care, especially if dealing with chronic medical problems that may warrant frequent medical visits.”

 

Still, despite the increased accessibility, Dr. Okeke-Igbokwe doesn’t believe telehealth is a practical solution to numerous barriers Black patients face. Instead, she considers finding solutions to eliminating implicit biases, prejudices, and racism is the real priority. “A doctor that may hold biases against certain groups can still act on that bias during a telehealth visit and not offer the same level of quality care,” she says. “Telehealth doesn’t suddenly protect one against certain healthcare injustices in the form of racism.”  To achieve equitable treatment for all, Dr. Okeke-Igbokwe says we must address and eliminate the implicit biases that contribute to racial disparities in health care.

 

 

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