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Ethnic Disparities in Emergency Department Pain Management 

Ethnic Disparities in Emergency Department Pain Management
Ethnic Disparities in Emergency Department Pain Management

Knox H. Todd

and Mark J. Pletcher

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date: 03 August 2021

Emergency departments in the United States serve broad swaths of the population and are the single federally mandated source of universal health care access in the United States.2 From 1997 to 2007, the number of emergency department visits increased from 95 to 117 million, while the number of departments actually decreased.3 As a result, our emergency departments are commonly overcrowded and occasionally chaotic.4,5 Emergency care providers treat a large scope of illnesses and injuries and do so under great time pressures. The lack of an established physician-patient relationship, limited continuity of care, frequency of diagnostic uncertainty, and time-sensitive nature of much emergent and urgent care renders the emergency department a prime setting for medical errors due to biased decision-making, stereotyping, and overreliance on misleading heuristics.6

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