An article this weekend in The Washington Post brought attention to a new study about race-based differences in US infant mortality. The article, which is worth reading in its entirety, revealed the results of the study.
Through the study, its researchers determined that the rate that black infants die drops dramatically–over 50%–when the infant was delivered by a black doctor.
When black doctors delivered them, the infant mortality rate fell from 430 deaths per 100,000 live births to 173 death per 100,000.
In a previous blog post, I mentioned the large disparity between black infant mortality rate and that of white infants. One of the researchers of the study highlighted by The Washington Post gave an opinion on the cause of this disparity: the root of the problem is structural racism, she said. She went on to define structural racism as the “normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics–historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal–that routinely advantage Whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color.”
As to why black doctors seem to outperform their white counterparts, the researchers wrote that more research is needed to understand.