MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  New research from the University of Minnesota finds that Black newborns die less when they are cared for by Black doctors.

That’s according to findings recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

The study team, including researchers at Harvard University and George Mason University, examined 1.8 million hospital births in the state of Florida between 1992 and 2015.

Researchers found that when Black newborns are cared for by Black physicians rather than white physicians, their in-hospital death rate is a third lower.

“Our findings demonstrate that when newborns and the physicians treating them are of the same race, that newborn survival rate is significantly improved,” said study co-author Rachel Hardeman. “This study is the first piece of evidence that demonstrates the effect of physician-patient racial concordance on the Black-white mortality gap. As we seek to close persistent racial gaps in birth outcomes, this finding is incredibly important.”

Researches found that the size of this mortality rate reduction would correspond to preventing the in-hospital deaths of about 1,400 Black newborns nationally each year.

“This fact that Black newborns do so much better under the care of Black physicians warrants greater investigation by researchers and medical practitioners into drivers of differences between higher- and lower-performing physicians, and why Black physicians systemically outperform their colleagues when caring for Black newborns,” said study co-author Aaron Sojourner, an associate professor in the Carlson School of Management.

To view the full study click here.

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