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Study: Two health systems -- black and white
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 Posted: 5:11 PM EDT (2111 GMT)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) -- Inferior qualifications and less access to resources among doctors who treat black patients may contribute to racial disparities in the quality of U.S. health care, authors of a study said Wednesday. The study, published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, found that many of the doctors treating black patients complain they don't have the resources to adequately care for them.

"The findings paint a picture of two health systems, where physicians treating black patients appear to have less access to important clinical resources and be less well-trained clinically than physicians treating white patients," said study leader Peter Bach of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Bach and his team found that about a fifth of U.S. doctors -- 22 percent -- are treating four-fifths of the country's black population. Moreover, 86 percent of the doctors visited by white patients tended to have advanced training, versus 77 percent of the doctors who tended to treat black patients, the Bach team said.

That may explain why black patient...

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