Why doctors still use race as a way to diagnose patients : Code Switch We've probably said it a hundred times on Code Switch — biological race is not a real thing. So why is race still used to help diagnose certain conditions, like keloids or cystic fibrosis? On this episode, Dr. Andrea Deyrup breaks it down for us, and unpacks the problems she sees with practicing race-based medicine.

In the world of medicine, race-based diagnoses are still very real

In the world of medicine, race-based diagnoses are still very real

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The false notion of "biological race" is still sometimes used as a diagnostic tool in medicine. Why? Jackie Lay for NPR hide caption

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Jackie Lay for NPR

The false notion of "biological race" is still sometimes used as a diagnostic tool in medicine. Why?

Jackie Lay for NPR

We've probably said it a hundred times on Code Switch — biological race is not a real thing. So why is race still used to help diagnose certain conditions, like keloids or cystic fibrosis? On this episode, Dr. Andrea Deyrup breaks it down for us, and unpacks the problems she sees with practicing race-based medicine, from delayed diagnoses to ignoring environmental factors that lead to different health outcomes. She says that while race-based health disparities are very real, the idea that our bodies are genetically different based on race is simply not.

Dr. Deyrup is a professor of pathology at Duke University, as well as the course director of the Duke medical school pathology course. You can find more of her work, including her video on keloids, on her website, pathologycentral.org.

This episode was hosted by Gene Demby, produced by Jess Kung, and edited by Leah Donnella. Our engineer was Josh Newell.

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