Physicians give white patients more compassionate care in simulation

In a simulation, physicians provided more compassionate care to white actors playing dying patients than their black counterparts, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Researchers placed 33 hospital-based doctors in simulated interactions with actors who read from identical scripts and had the same vital signs. Doctors told both groups of patients the same things, but differed in nonverbal cues such as body language and eye contact. Researchers found the doctors were far likelier to stand close to the bedside and touch the person in a sympathetic way for white patients. For black patients, they were more likely to stand at the door and hold a binder in their hands. Study abstract

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