(WHTM) – Pursuing a career in healthcare or getting access to services can be extremely difficult, especially for Black women.
Some struggles for Black women seeking care include the lack of financial resources, provider shortages, and even fewer black healthcare professionals. Another frequent problem is that more than 20% of Black women experience infertility complications, and less than 15% of them seek medical attention to address the issues.
Twenty-five percent of Black women between the ages of 18 and 30 have fibroids and after age 55 that number increases to 60%.
“When I was in Philadelphia that I really saw health disparities evidenced you could see that there was a higher prevalence of chronic conditions amongst people that looked like me,” said Dr. Sharee Livingston, an obstetrics and gynecologist for UPMC.
Some say the mistrust in healthcare from comes from the lack of representation in their race, but Dr. Livingston feels that is the answer to improving healthcare in the Black community.
“In order for us to improve the current health disparities crisis the emergency the public health emergency that we’re experiencing the healthcare providers must look like the community that we’re serving,” said Dr. Livingston.
In 2023 Black women represent only 2% of the U.S. medical faculty at large, and only 5.6% of doctors are Black women.
“Black people are not listened to as well as their counterparts,” said Dr. Livingston.
In 2019, Black women represented 3.2% of medical students, so healthcare inequity will remain an issue in Black communities for now.