Strategies to Promote Racial Healthcare Equity in Pain Medicine: A Call to Action

Pain Med. 2022 Jul 1;23(7):1225-1230. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnac057.


In the past several years, many national events have illuminated the inequities faced by the Black community in all aspects of life, including healthcare. To close the gap in healthcare equity, it is imperative that clinicians examine their practices for disparities in the treatment of minority patients and for racial injustice and take responsibility for improving any issues. As leaders in pain medicine, we can start by improving our understanding of healthcare disparities and inequities among racial and ethnic minorities and translating that knowledge into a cultural transformation to improve the care of those impacted. In this paper, we identify the areas of medicine in which pain assessment and treatment are not equitably delivered. As we acknowledge these disparities, we will highlight reasons for these incongruences in care and clarify how clinicians can act to ensure that all patients are treated equitably, with equal levels of compassion.

Keywords: Ethnic Disparities; Health Equity; Pain Management; Racial Disparities.

MeSH terms

  • Black People
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • Pain
  • Racial Groups*
  • United States