Here's the bad news. African Americans typically receive substandard medical care when compared to their white counterparts. In addition, blacks have higher rates of birth defects, infant mortality, asthma, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
But, here's the good news. You have the power to beat the odds by becoming an active participant in your health and wellness. How? As a first step, we invite you to check out our large offering of esteemed black physicians located in the New York metro area. Although we've chosen to limit our selection on a regional basis, know that the physicians on our list have no bounds since many of them are recognized as leaders in their fields nationwide. These medical professionals are dedicated to ensuring that their patients receive the best care using the latest equipment that the medical industry has available. Since they are African Americans themselves, you can expect them to have a special sensitivity to your needs. At the same time, feel free to assess these professionals by the same standards that you would use to evaluate any other physician. We believe they'll exceed your expectations.
Your quest for superior health care does not end with our listing, however. Since you are the one that has to pay the consequence for the health care decisions that you make, you need to take responsibility for your choices. That means you should arrive at your doctor's office�whether they're on our list or not�with a list of your symptoms, your questions, and any notes you've obtained by conducting your own research about your condition. You should also have your own medical folder that contains a list of medications you are currently taking, recent test results, reports from any surgeries that you've had, family diseases, allergies and any other important information. This is critical, particularly since so many of us are forced to switch practitioners in response to our employer's change in health plans.
As far as health care is concerned, communication is key. If you've come across a good physician, spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues. Also, if you're in search of a physician, talk to people that you know for referrals and follow our guidelines (see page 17). There's no need for you or anyone that you know to suffer in silence.
Finally, we urge you to let us know if we've somehow overlooked someone who should have been considered on our list. Although we strive for perfection, it is possible that someone didn't hit our radar screen�yet. We want our list to be as comprehensive as possible so we invite you to send in your recommendations as you see fit. We'll check them out with our team of experts and you may see them on our list next year.
Like the doctors on our list, our chief goal is to service our customers and we are ready and willing to meet the challenge.
By Monique Brown