Friday, November 11, 2011

8-year-old African American...


A fellow classmate would blurt this out every time an clinical vignette featured an African-American patient. It become a joke that if there was a sick African-American man, woman, or child, that person had sickle cell disease before we even got to his or her symptoms. Every time we learn about diseases with an ethnic predisposition, sickle cell disease is always the prime example. While it is a fact that sickle cell trait and disease is more prevalent in people of African descent, it's troubling that sickle cell disease and thalassemia seem to be the only two diseases that people of African descent according to clinical vignettes we get in medical school. Caucasian patients are the default in most other clinical scenarios.

Oh every Jewish baby has Tay-Sachs.

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