Note: This study focused on health outcomes in instances of perceived equitable care. It's scope, however, did not address obstacles around access to care nor did it measure the quality of health services provided to Black patients. RUSM is committed to training physicians who will provide equitable, comprehensive care to all and we invite discussion on this topic in an upcoming forum.
Congratulations to third-year and fourth-year Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students Robert Coakley and Alysson Klein, who co-authored Racial disparities in COVID-19 hospitalizations do not lead to disparities in outcomes in ScienceDirect, a professional source for medical and scientific publications.
The study, which observed 799 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at Michigan hospitals, found that Black patients were disproportionately hospitalized for COVID-19, due in part to their higher incidences of diabetes and obesity. However, the research also showed that Black patients did not suffer worse health outcomes compared to white patients when they were provided with the same standardized care.
“It was a great way to deepen our understanding of social determinants of health and the racial disparities we were seeing in our community with COVID-19 hospitalizations.” said Klein, an aspiring family medicine physician, who completed his clinical core rotations at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Michigan.
Coakley, who spent hours data mining, found the research component invaluable. “[Being] able to participate in a big project helped me realize how much of an impact new findings have on how we treat people. But more importantly, how these findings help improve the lives of all patients across the world.”