Dr. Larry Charleston, IV: Healthcare Disparities Put 'Undue' Disease Burden on Patients

Dr. Charleston participated in a video commentary in conjunction with Medscape and the American Headache Society.   There are different definitions of disparities in healthcare.  The CDC defintes health disparities as "preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or in opportunities to achieve optimal health experienced by socially disadvantaged racial, ethnic, and other population groups, and communities."

Disparities in equity have been an increasing issue of concern in medicine, public health, and health policy over the past four decades. However, inequity in healthcare, medical treatment, and research unfortunately spans much further and much longer than that. Actually, the late, great Dr Martin Luther King Jr declared that "of all forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane."

If we fast-forward to the Healthy People 2030 initiative, it presents a goal to eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all. Migraine is the second most disabling neurological condition in the world. Health disparities are those differences in the prevalence and severity of disease and/or treatments that are rooted in social inequalities and link with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantages.

Disparities in migraine (such as inaccurate diagnoses) put undue disease burden not only on the people with migraine that are facing migraine care inequity, but also their families, communities, and our society. This impact is social, emotional, economical, and physical. Moreover, we have a duty as healthcare professionals to operate for the good of our patients, and addressing disparities is an ethical principle of justice.

Please use the following link to view the entire video commentary and transcript:  https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/959805?faf=1#vp_2


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