Article Title

Health Disparities

Document Type



"Americans believe that we are a classless society, largely because just about everyone thinks they are members of the struggling middle class. In actuality the United States is a highly stratified society in terms of wealth, meaning that we have a much more significant problem of poverty than most industrialized nations. Members of ethnic minorities are more likely to be poorer and less powerful. Racist beliefs on the part of the dominant white ethnic groups exacerbate the problem of socioeconomic inequality (Brown, 1998 p. 259)." In healthcare we like to believe that we do not discriminate amongst patient populations and that everyone is treated equally regardless of race or ethnicity. This is simply not true. Disparities/inequalities have been seen in healthcare in the past and continue to the present. According to the dictionary disparity (ies) is defined as "lack of similarity or equality; difference (Random House, 1975). This review will explore the issue of disparity in healthcare as it is found in the healthcare literature and on government Internet sites. Key points in the literature will be discussed. However, in order to ensure common understanding of the issues raised it is important to have a clear understanding of some key definitions.

Publication Date


Journal Title

International Journal of Global Health





First Page


Last Page



©2002 International Journal of Global Health



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Included in

Public Health Commons



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