Do No Harm Releases New Report: “Racial Concordance in Medicine: The Return of Segregation”

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Do No Harm released a new report on racial concordance in medicine entitled “The Return of Segregation.” This report debunks the narrative pushed by medical organizations and political leaders that matching the races of physicians and patients leads to better healthcare outcomes.

“Healthcare and media organizations continue to push racial concordance despite the weight of evidence against it,” said report author and Do No Harm Director of Research Ian Kingsbury. “These groups are playing a dangerous game by putting their politics over scientific evidence and cherry-picking preferred studies to reach their political goals. We hope our report puts to rest the fashionable but dangerous idea of racial segregation in medicine.”

“The research that claims to find evidence of the benefits of racial concordance in healthcare is generally of low quality,” said report co-author and Do No Harm Senior Fellow Jay Greene. “Even the studies that appear in higher-status journals have obvious and severe defects that prevent them from being offered as support for racial concordance. The fact that such low-quality research appears in top journals says more about the politicization of research than it does about racial concordance.”

“We all want to see the elimination of healthcare disparities, but without solid proof that racial concordance would benefit patients we needlessly racialize an aspect of American life and divide American communities,” said Do No Harm Chairman Dr. Stanley Goldfarb. “The same divisive identity politics pushed by supporters of ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ is being used as the basis for racial concordance.”

Click here to read the full report. 

Top Takeaways

  • Of the systemic reviews of racial concordance, four of five show no improvement in healthcare outcomes when segregating patients and doctors based on race.
  • Racial concordance holds no promise for producing better care or better outcomes. Instead, patient-provider pairings should be determined by convenience, practicality, and expertise.
  • Efforts to increase the number of doctors from any particular racial group will not result in better patient care. Attempts by medical schools to deprioritize merit and skirt the Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action would instead jeopardize patient care. Research indicates that strong academic readiness, not racial concordance, predicts clinical performance.

Established in April 2022, Do No Harm has more than 6,000 members, including doctors, nurses, physicians, and concerned citizens across all 50 states and in 14 countries. 


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