Some patients prefer a certain type of doctor. Others don’t understand how to find their medical information via the internet.
Advances in medical technology, specifically in how medical information is given to patients, create a new medical disparity, especially for the elderly, according to Candi Castleberry-Singleton, the chief inclusion and diversity officer at UPMC.
Castleberry-Singleton, who spoke at the University of Pittsburgh today, doesn’t see new technology as a problem, but as an opportunity to be proactive.
“When I have a conversation with my mom about her health care, sometimes she didn’t ask her doctor all the questions that she needs to know, but when the doctor says the information, the doctor will say the information is online, and so together we can go online and have that dialogue,” she said. “But she will not likely go online and get that information unless I’m with her.”
Castleberry-Singleton also said some patients prefer certain types of doctors. She cited her sister as an example. She noted on occasion people ask to see another physician because they feel her sister is too young to do a proper job.
Castleberry-Singleton also noted certain cultures have only male doctors, or have only male doctors treat male patients. She said part of her job includes “respect for people’s culture, religion, beliefs — even their level of technological savvy.”