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AAFP President: We Need to Go Forward, Not Backward, on Racial Disparities in Health Care


Video Interview

"As a family physician one finding that particularly stood out to me is that adults of color were more likely than white adults to report not having a usual doctor or provider and to have to go without care because of the cost."

American Academy of Family Physicians president Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, MPH, MBA, referred to findings from the recent Kaiser Family Foundation update to its data on health and health care in the US by race and ethnicity. The update revealed that approximately one-third of Hispanic adults, one-quarter of American Indian Alaskan Native adults, and 1 in 5 Black and Asian adults do not have a personal health care provider vs 16% of White adults.

Among other grave concerns about the findings, Iroku-Malize framed data on US maternal and infant mortality among racial and ethnic minorities as moving backward in the 21st century, not forward. More of her conversation with Patient Care® follows.

Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, MPH, a family physician in Long Island, New York, is current president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Iroku-Malize serves as founding chair and professor of family medicine for the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Hempstead, New York, and is senior vice president and chair of the family medicine service line for Northwell Health. She oversees 4 family medicine residency programs and 3 fellowships spread across 23 hospitals. She was previously the director of the family medicine residency program at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York. She is currently a member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and is active in the Association of Departments of Family Medicine.

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