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Reviewed by:
  • Multicultural Medicine and Health Disparities
  • Patricia Rodney (bio), Cheryl Abeo Joes (bio), and Yassa Ndjakani (bio)
Multicultural Medicine and Health Disparities. Edited by David Satcher, PhD, MD, Rubens J Pamies, MD, FACP; contributing editor Nancy N. Woelfl, PhD. New York: McGraw-Hill, April 2005. 500 pp. Hardcover $61.95.

Synopsis of Editors' Backgrounds

David Satcher, MD, PhD was the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, and only the second person in history to hold simultaneously the positions of Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health. In these roles, he served as the Secretary's senior advisor on public health matters and as director of the Office of Public Health and Science. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1963 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his MD and PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1970 with election to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He did residency/fellowship training at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, UCLA, and King-Drew. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the American College of Physicians. He served as professor and Chair, of the Department of Community Medicine and Family Practice at Morehouse School of Medicine from 1979 to 1982. Dr. Satcher was the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 1993–1998. He is the recipient of numerous awards.

Rubens J Pamies, MD, FACP, was appointed Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska Medical Center on September 1, 2003. He received his baccalaureate degree from St. Johns University, his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1986, and completed a residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the Cornell-North Shore University Hospital. From 1992 to 1994, he served as Chief of the Division of Primary Care and Associate Director of the Internal Medicine House staff Training Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Programs at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine from 1994 to 1996 and Associate Dean of Student Affairs from 1996 to 2000. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Pamies held the following positions: Chief of Service at the Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, The Edward S. Harkness Professor of Medicine, Chairman of Internal Medicine at Meharry Medical College, and Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. [End Page 715] Dr. Paimes has received several awards and honors including a scholarship named in his honor by Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine.


The rationale put forward by the editors for the compilation titled Multicultural Medicine and Health Disparities is to inform health care practitioners, policymakers, students, and community advocates about a broad range of health and policy issues related to health disparities and multicultural medicine. The authors are leading practitioners and scholars who discuss and propose a variety of perspectives on the sociopolitical parameters of health disparities and knowledge of diseases occurring among racial and ethnic minorities.

The book is organized into three broad sections. It is evident in many of the chapters that racial and ethnic minority groups (and, in particular, African Americans) in a multicultural society suffer considerable health disparities in the incidence and prevalence of many diseases. Although genetics was examined as a possible source of racial differences, genetics is not enough to account for the observed differences between populations. The data presented in this volume establish the reality of disparities in health and health care. Also included are studies indicating that the risk for African Americans of contacting diseases or any other health problems can be reduced if they receive the same care and access that is routinely given to the White population. However, there is very limited discussion of socio-historical, economic and political factors that affect the health of people of color. Below is a summary of the topics covered in the three sections of the book, identifying the compelling facts discussed as well as areas in which the information provided fails to adequately address the topic...


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pp. 715-720
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