May 1, 2023

This Week

  • Counties With a Higher Number of Black Doctors See Black Individuals Enjoying Longer Lives
  • Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Updated for African American Women
  • Reconsidering Prostate Cancer Mortality - The Future of PSA Screening
  • What To Do If Your Child Has Eczema
  • COVID-19 Update: Feds May OK Another Booster for Certain Populations

Top of Mind

In a fascinating study, the data reveals that counties with a higher number of Black doctors see Black individuals enjoying longer lives.

This groundbreaking study is the first to discover that a higher prevalence of Black doctors directly links to longer life expectancy and reduced mortality in Black communities. Who knew? The article can only ponder this surprising result, but as someone with years of experience, I have a few insights that could shed light on the study's outcome.

Black doctors often practice in underprivileged communities where other, non-Black doctors may hesitate to serve. Their presence in these areas raises the overall quality of healthcare. Poverty is a widespread issue in America, disproportionately affecting Black individuals.

Moreover, having a Black doctor could potentially help Black patients grasp health risks more effectively. Shared cultural experiences and backgrounds foster a deeper understanding of each patient's unique needs. Plus, Black doctors often act as advocates for their patients, skillfully navigating challenging situations to ensure they receive the best possible care.

This powerful advocacy not only benefits individuals but also helps communities access additional resources and support systems. And once Black patients enter the health care system, there is the element of respect that Black doctors provide for their patients. So often they are your relatives, friends and neighbors. Respect that is sometimes lacking when they are seen by non Black physicians or in inpatient settings.

How do we solve this problem? We are few in number, only 4% of physicians but 12% of the population. Stay tuned for some suggestions in next weeks Dr. Mikes Ethnic Health Report.

Stay Healthy,

Dr. Mike

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Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Updated for African American Women

What are the ideal starting ages for different races and ethnicities to begin Breast Cancer screening in order to tackle racial disparities in mortality rates?

In this inclusive study, researchers looked at 415,277 Breast Cancer-related female deaths in the US between 2011 and 2020. While the general recommendation for Breast Cancer screening begins at age 50 for most women, it's better if Black females start 8 years earlier, at age 42. Meanwhile, White females could start at 51, American Indian or Alaska Native and Hispanic females at 57, and Asian or Pacific Islander females at the age of 61.

Reconsidering Prostate Cancer Mortality - The Future of PSA Screenings

PSA screenings for Prostate Cancer should involve consideration of the benefits and risks. Many experts think that screening may pick up Prostate Cancers earlier but, depending on screening test, often results in unnecessary and dangerous treatments. 

Why is this important? For Black men, I sense both sides of the argument. But I have never understood how having more information about a health issue is a bad thing. Now that we use the MRI, a radiographic procedure to identify tumors, it eliminates the need for those uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous biopsies. The problem comes when Black men are not given the information they need to make good choices.

What Do You Do If Your Child Has Eczema

Eczema is on the rise, affecting more people than ever. Key culprits for those with eczema include milk, egg, soy, wheat, and peanut. Keep your skin well-hydrated with soothing lotions like Cetaphil, Eucerin, or CeraVe. They help maintain a protective barrier on your skin. Low-dose topical steroids, such as hydrocortisone, are the go-to treatment. If needed, ramp up the potency cautiously. Remember, when treating facial areas, steroids can thin the skin - so take extra care! In extreme cases, skin infections can occur, necessitating the use of antibiotics.  Exciting new medications, like Dupilumab, Omalizumab, and Crisaborole, are now available for older children and adults. Don't hesitate to chat with your doctor and see if any of these cutting-edge treatments suit you!

Feds May OK Another Booster for Certain Populations

Federal regulators have green lit a second omicron-targeted COVID-19 vaccine booster for folks aged 65 and over or with weakened immune systems. This exciting move aims to offer extra defense for high-risk individuals, say insiders familiar with the plan. The goal? To guarantee the most vulnerable get the vital protection they need. Word on the street is that this fresh round of booster shots will be accessible nationwide in just a matter of weeks!

For more information, go to our website at or listen to our podcast at on any podcast platform.

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About the Editor 

Dr. Michael LeNoir is just your neighborhood doc — a world-renowned allergist, a board-certified pediatrician, recognized expert on asthma in inner cities, and the President and Founder of AAWP. Serving the Bay Area since 1977, Dr. LeNoir has dedicated his career to helping African Americans navigate a healthcare system he saw first-hand that is fundamentally build on racial biases. Read More

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