As we learned this week our unique social identities shape our health in numerous ways. One of my identities that may positively shape my health is my race. As a Caucasian in this country the truth, however horrific, is that I have privilege. Racism has been prevalent in our nation since its founding. Discrimination of minorities still rages on through many aspects of life. Although we would expect healthcare providers and practitioners to be bias free and treat everyone equally, this is not the case. Whites often receive better quality of treatment than those belonging to other racial and ethnic groups. An example of this is the fact that Caucasians receive more pain relievers than other races do.
An identity of mine that may have an adverse effect on my health is my socioeconomic status. As a family in the lower- middle class we have had our share of struggles: waiting to see if going to the doctor is really necessary, refusing prescriptions that come with a high cost, deciding if expensive dental care is really worth it or if it can wait, trying to find medicines or treatments for my dad’s psoriasis that won’t break the bank, and many others. Living with a lower SES can be difficult and may result in poorer health due to the fact that it is harder to access healthcare.