Apr 8, 2022 - Health

Survey: Black Americans' trust in medicine relatively high

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Black Americans are emerging from the pandemic with relatively high confidence in the U.S. medical establishment, but with lingering concerns that they’re underrepresented in health care and STEM jobs.

Driving the news: A Pew Research Center survey of 3,456 Black adults found trust in medical scientists is greater than for other groups and institutions, including the military, religious leaders or public school principals.

  • But many Black Americans still view science and health disciplines as less inclusive than other segments of society like sports and music.

Go deeper: 78% of Black adults said they have either a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in medical scientists to act in the public’s best interests.

  • But Black Americans also are more concerned as a group about the prospect of research misconduct, and highly aware of historical wrongs.

Getting personal: Black Americans’ personal experiences with medical care also were mixed, though 61% gave their health care provider excellent or very good marks for care they’ve received recently.

  • 55% had at least one negative experience with health providers in the past, like having to speak up to get proper care or that the pain they were experiencing was not being taken seriously.
  • Younger Black women ages 18 to 49 were much likelier to have had at least one negative experience with routine care in the past and prefer to see a Black health provider.
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