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

STAT2 min readSociety
Opinion: Why There’s An Overdose Epidemic — In Two Graphs
Unless policies to stop the overdose epidemic extend beyond controlling opioids, the growth curve for overdose deaths will look increasingly grim.
STAT4 min read
Opinion: Pod Mods And Vaping Are Creating A New Generation Of Youths Addicted To Nicotine
We need to block obvious efforts by the vaping industry and Big Tobacco to hook a new generation of youths on nicotine.
STAT2 min read
Amicus Therapeutics Acquires Portfolio Of Gene Therapies Targeting Neurologic Disorders
Amicus Therapeutics is expanding the focus its drug development work with the purchase of a portfolio of early-stage gene therapies targeting rare neurologic diseases.