Doctor broaches issue: 'Does racism affect your health?'

March 24, 2021

Doctor broaches issue: 'Does racism affect your health?'

Anti-Asian hate crimes have soared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This prompted Dr. James Lee, a psychiatry resident at the University of Washington School of Medicine, to discuss how healthcare clinicians could make Asian American patients and employees feel more supported. 

"How can clinicians physically alter their space or change how they interview patients–  to make sure that they feel welcome," said Lee, who is a Korean American.  Clinicians, in asking patients whether they are feeling anxious or depressed, can go a step further and "put that in the framework of race to ... make that a permissible topic" to discuss, if a patient wants.  It allows people to talk about how race has impacted their health, he said. 

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