Medicine is a mirror for the racial injustice in our society; it is a field riddled with racial disparities in everything from research funding to patient care to life expectancy. There may be no population of patients whose healthcare and outcomes are more affected by racism than those with sickle cell disease (SCD). Patients with SCD are too often marginalised and dismissed while seeking medical care when their bodies hurt and they cannot breathe. As medical leaders around the United States issue statements denouncing racial injustice and calling for us to “dismantle racism at every level,” we must ensure that these pledges translate into durable improvements for patients with SCD.
Alexandra Power-Hays and Patrick T. McGann propose a number of changes to reduce the impact of racism on patients with SCD in the US.