STAT

My medical school lesson was tinged with racism. Did that affect how I treated a sickle cell patient years later?

We need to be sure medical students learn about every disease without judging the people living with it. That didn't happen in my lesson on sickle cell.

The young woman was curled up in a ball. She was sweating and shivering from pain. As she answered my questions — all my many, many questions — tears fell silently from her eyes.

I was a third-year medical student, and the resident I was working with had asked me to evaluate this woman. She had been here several times before. She was in the middle of a sickle cell crisis.

I remembered this young woman while reading about how too many patients with sickle cell face exhausting, infuriating — and life-threatening — delays in getting care when they arrive in emergency rooms in excruciating pain from

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT5 min readPolitics
Opinion: An Insider’s View Of The Myths And Misconceptions Behind 340B ‘Reform’
I hardly recognize the 340B drug discount program when I read the pharmaceutical industry’s criticisms about it. They say that 340B has grown too big, is without oversight and transparency, and is in desperate need of reform. Having spent more than a
STAT4 min readScience
Opinion: Barriers To Genomic Testing Get In The Way Of Precision Medicine
In this era of precision medicine, oncologists should be able to quickly check their patients' genomes. I was surprised to learn that many can't.
STAT3 min readSociety
Opinion: A New Approach Can Take Patient Safety To The Next Level
Doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers sometimes make mistakes. They can also anticipate them and prevent them from happening.