Teaching Difference in a Biology Class

Michael Rodriguez

The course I will be teaching with the DSJ designation is BIOL175 – Human Biology. I have been collecting articles that highlight the differences in health care treatment and outcomes for marginalized communities and people of color (POC), specifically. We will examine the link between front-line and essential workers/those who cannot work from home and the prevalence of COVID-19, examining how that can compound pre-existing conditions that are present in those populations compared to others. We will examine the perception of differences in pain thresholds between Black people and others. We will look at differences in the diagnosis of disease across racial groups. “Medical test results may be reported differently for otherwise identical Black and non-Black patients. Certain drugs are not prescribed, and when they are, dosages are kept low.

The Black patient could be referred to a kidney specialist later than a non-Black patient. If a transplant is needed, the Black patient is not eligible as soon as a non-Black patient.” This all revolves around a JAMA decision a long time ago about differences in kidney GFR in Black people. The decision was based on data and meant well, but it does not hold up today and causes problems for Black people. Lastly, we will examine how the lack of affordable healthcare makes disenfranchised people avoid seeing the doctor, regularly, exacerbating their condition and making them sicker in the long run. I will be searching for more discrepancies in healthcare with race-based adjustments, pain thresholds, and other topics identified by Biology faculty.

 

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