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Jul 31, 2021
Episode #2—Racial Disparities in Healthcare
Play • 25 min

In countries around the world and especially in America, the last few years have brought a tidal wave of reckoning with racial inequality and unjust social structures. While this probably immediately reminds you of police brutality incidents and the inexcusable killing of Black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, this reckoning also applies to a field concerned with healing and supporting life: healthcare. In this episode, join MSO at UCLA writer Melody Zaki and editor Sofia Luengo-Woods as they explore how people of color—particularly Black Americans—receive different, and often unfair, treatment than their counterparts of other races in the realm of medicine and healthcare. This unequal treatment is not an isolated series of cases, but rather a racial pattern that persists through the stages of life. Melody and Sofia also provide concrete suggestions for how these issues can be addressed to promote equality and improve health outcomes for patients.

2:13 - Melody explains the connection between childbirth and racial disparities in America

5:54 - Socioeconomic status isn’t the only barrier Black mothers face

10:07 - Melody proposes some solutions to handle racially differing rates of maternal morbidity and C-sections

11:50 - Sofia reveals an area of disparity further down the life course that is often overlooked

13:24 - Research studies indicate that bystander CPR rates are influenced by race, something that can mean the difference between life and death

15:35 - Sofia pinpoints potential paths towards finding equity in bystander CPR rates and some great resources for CPR training

16:58 - Melody explains end-of-life options and how they are entangled with socioeconomic status and race

20:14 - Trust between healthcare professionals and Black Americans has historically been low, and VAE/PAS may worsen it

22:46 - Melody shares her thoughts on improving end-of-life care without racial disparity

If you’re interested in learning more about the topics we covered, you can do so at our website,!

Cover art: Yea-Lyn Pak, Media Director

Audio editing: Jingyao (Bella) Chen, Editor

Speakers: Dhruv Khosla, Co-Editor-in-Chief. Melody Zaki, Writer. Sofia Luengo-Woods, Editor


Sources used in this episode:

Melody’s article on maternal morbidity and race:

Melody’s article on VAE/PAS:

Data from study on C-section rates:

AHA study on bystander CPR and race:

Study on race and cardiac arrest:

Study on bystander CPR and neighborhood ethnicity:

CPR training for UCLA students:

CPR training:

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