As a physician on the frontlines of an overlooked epidemic, I’ve seen countless patients who have had no choice but to have their limbs surgically amputated because they didn’t have access to the clinical interventions that could have saved their legs.
No, I don’t work in a developing country. I’m a doctor in the Mississippi Delta.
Despite living in the world’s richest country—a nation that spends twice as much on health care as any other – many minority communities in the U.S. suffer disproportionately from chronic diseases that wreak havoc on lives and limbs.
Since April is National Minority Health Month, now is the perfect time to reflect on the inequities facing millions of Americans, as well as how we can collectively pave the path for building stronger, healthier communities.
Each year, roughly 200,000 Americans – about 548 each day – will have their limbs amputated because of non-traumatic causes like peripheral artery disease (PAD). Never heard of PAD before? Neither have many of my patients until it is too late.