American Journal of Public Health Paved With Good Intentions Do Public Health and Human Service Providers Contribute to Racial/

The article is directed to health care providers like doctors, psychologists, nurses or other health employees who in one way or another affect how help-seekers are treated. It could have also been intended for policy makers who are in the position and have the authority to influence how health care providers should treat their patients. The article could also be useful to patients who are seeking help especially the Blacks so that they will be aware of the benefits they are missing and should have. In case they are faced with similar circumstances mentioned in the article, they would know their rights and know what to demand for when seeking professional help. The article clearly shows the need for review of the racial disparities in several government institutions as evidenced by recorded statistics and results of studies. The authors theoretically assume that the behavior of health and human service providers contribute to race or ethnicity differences in care and therefore, institutional discrimination (Van Ryn Fu). There is the assumption that stereotyping primarily affects how people are given help and it has been well evidenced with general observations as well as specific examples that this supposition is true. People around the globe automatically have ideas about other people either consciously or unconsciously and this affects how individuals treat them. For instance, a Black man in rugged clothes, evidently unable to attend to his personal hygiene is automatically considered a threat to the environment whether in terms of health or security. When the man enters a hospital for help, he could be admitted and placed in seclusion as most Blacks are treated (Van Ryn Fu). Perhaps one of the reasons for such treatment is the thought that Blacks do not go to hospitals for real medical needs but they are there to seek free shelter and food. This kind of attitude can deprive help seekers of treatment and cure they indeed need medical attention and not just what is perceived by the stereotypical employee. Moreover, Van Ryn and Fu theorized that providers’ beliefs about help seekers influence their interpretation of the problems or symptoms of these individuals. Again, they have proven this to be true with the use of results of studies performed on a number of psychotherapists presented with Black and White patients showing the same symptoms. As expected, the behaviors of the Black patient were considered less clinically significant than the White patient’s. More similar situations proved the specifically noted theories of the authors to be true. The authors though, did not aim to write the article to prove their assumptions right but as mentioned earlier, to encourage change in the care providers’ attitudes to give better services and give attention to the real issues rather than what they perceive as a result of stereotypical understanding. The subject matter is important in the study of psychology because it helps bring about better treatments of help seekers as a consequence of being knowledgeable of the issues brought up in the article. Psychologists can help design a workable plan wherein first and foremost. the educated party should have the initiative to consider his/her attitude towards the other party which is the help seeker.