Equity in medical decision making is an area that has received little attention. One strategy to reduce disparities in care that often arise during the medical encounter, and thus increase equity, is shared decision making between providers and patients. The shared decision-making model includes a number of critical factors that can improve care: better communication; patient-centered, culturally competent care; and patient involvement in deliberations and decisions. Each of these elements can mitigate the sociopolitical factors that have been institutionalized in medicine through the unbalanced relationship between physician and patient. This model appears to be a powerful tool that could reduce disparate care and improve overall health outcomes for minority patients.

Background on Disparities in Healthcare

Disparities in healthcare in the United States are widespread and well documented. ...

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