Audit: African-Americans Less Likely to Receive Study Grants

I have a hard time taking in this news item. It is at once troubling and loathsome:

Even after the researchers accounted for other factors that could help explain the discrepancy, such as differences in scientists’ education and training, black applicants were still about 10 percentage points less likely than whites to get NIH funding, the researchers reported. About 27 percent of white applicants’ requests were successful, compared with only about 17 percent of blacks’.

The audit results are somewhat surprising, as training in the healthcare sciences should remain race-neutral, without a doubt, especially since the study took into account and controlled for regional/educational variances on the path toward similar training trajectories.

Asians applying for money appeared to be slightly less likely than whites to get grants, but that gap disappeared when the researchers matched equally qualified white and Asian U.S. citizens. Hispanics were about as successful as whites.

I suppose I should take some solace in the fact that this issue is being addressed within the NIH, but, ivory tower bias in grant-funded research contracts in 21st century America is a very serous issue that carries real world ramifications for a rapidly evolving, technologically-driven healthcare delivery that may leave some patient demographics shut out of appropriate care. | LINK

20. August 2011 by Michael Douglas, MD, MBA
Categories: Corporate, Diversions, Healthcare Policy & The Media, Knowledge & Medicine, Science & Research | Tags: , | Comments Off