Grossmont College Social Determinants of Health Discussion

What a time to be taking this class!! A global pandemic, a race crisis. What do you think?

“Long overdue”: Lawmakers declare racism a public health emergencyBlack and Brown Americans are susceptible to higher rates of infant mortality, heart disease and even an advanced aging process…and now Covid 19.

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Read in The Guardian: (Links to an external site.)

Should we view  social structures that promote poor health as a public health issues? Is racism a public health problem?

ASSIGNMENT:Explore the issue of race as a health determinant by finding 2 outcomes that show that racism is a public health problem. You can choose disparities in health outcomes, prison sentences, access to education, violence or community factors just to name a few. Pick one  health outcome disparity (ie a disease or chronic illness that is more common in minorities) or a social determinant of health (a SDoH factor that impacts health in minorities), find 2 sources to show outcomes that show how race impacts that outcome.  Dont just say “education impacts health” PROVE it to the reader with facts. This is why we did D1 on proving-find some statistics and facts!

Your post should have:

Topic sentence

2 supporting facts



Peer reply

EXAMPLES:I chose “disparity in access to education in racial minorities”

Education is a predictor of health. Studies have shown that education improves health by improved access and ability to afford health services, better decision making for behavioral choices and less risk of infectious disease 1. Race impacts the long term health of individuals because there are racial inequalities in education. This unfortunate early life disparity includes less qualified teachers, less funding money, larger class sizes and less robust curriculums. in areas that are predominantly minority 2.  in hard numbers, “A seminal 2005 study focused on increases in compulsory education between 1915 and 1939 across US states and found that a year of schooling reduced mortality by 3.6%” 3.  The sames study found “Rates of major circulatory diseases, diabetes, liver disease, and several psychological symptoms (sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness) show higher rates among adults with lower educational attainment.” Although healthcare treatment is an important part of health, if policy better addressed education, some health problems of disadvantaged minority citizens could be prevented just through better education.

1. Wolfgang Lutz, Endale Kebede. Education and Health: Redrawing the Preston Curve. Population and Development Review, 2018; DOI:

10.1111/padr.12141 (Links to an external site.)


3.Zajacova A, Lawrence EM. The Relationship Between Education and Health: Reducing Disparities Through a Contextual Approach. Annu Rev Public Health.


Social and community contexts regarding the racial biases of a healthcare provider can affect a patient’s health access and quality of health care. Some healthcare professionals carry cognitive biases, along with decades of clinical studies (that only examined white male bodies), this provided a lack of understanding about a BIPOC’s determinants of biological illness. 2 A study from SIDM’s article stated that medical students and residents had false biological beliefs about black and white patients, they studied medical case files that indicated each patient’s race. “Almost 90 percent of the white medical residents participating agreed, “blacks’ skin is thicker than whites.” They also rated the black patient’s pain as lower compared to whites and made less accurate treatment recommendations.2 It’s another unfortunate fact that BIPOC youth with behavioral and mental health conditions are more likely directed to the juvenile justice system rather than be given access to the proper special care institutions. 1 Mental and behavioral health conditions are common among the youth in the criminal justice system, in which BIPOC are disproportionately overrepresented. Approximately 50%-75% of youth in the juvenile justice system meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental illness. 1 Overall, the lack of awareness of systemic racism especially in the medical field largely impacts the access and quality of health care a BIPOC receives. If the workplace could be more diverse, and health care/justice system professionals practice sociocultural awareness and social activism, more racially induced misdiagnoses/malpractices and injustices can be avoided.

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