Skip to Content
Black middle class woman being examined by white male doctor.

Invisible visits: Black middle-class women in the U.S. health care system

Play episode

“Health inequity is baked into the cake. It is not incidental. If we acknowledge that that is true, that health care providers are trained in a way that reinforces racial biases and gender biases and ableist biases … we could start to do something differently in the way we think about medical practice and medical training in medical school.”

Dr. Tina Sacks

Does history accompany Black women in the physician’s examination room? Conventional wisdom holds that as a person’s socioeconomic status increases, the quality of health care access and outcomes increase. Money is often thought to be power — but not so fast for middle-class Black women.

In this episode, Tina Sacks discusses her work with a largely unstudied population within the Black community. Specifically, she will describe how middle-class Black women resist, adapt and have their own behavior influenced by racial and gender discrimination, particularly when they seek health care.

Tina will share her research with middle-class Black women and describe their experiences with health care providers and the lengths they go to overcome the barriers they face because of race, gender and other forms of discrimination.

Tina Sacks

Tina Sacks, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Her fields of interest include racial inequities in health, social determinants of health, and poverty and inequality. Sacks focuses on how macro-structural forces, including structural discrimination and immigration, affect women’s health. Her work investigates the persistence of racial and gender discrimination in health care settings among racial/ethnic minorities who are not poor. She published a book on this subject, titled Invisible Visits: Black Middle-Class Women in the American Health Care System (Oxford, 2019). Her current work, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, investigates the physical, mental, and emotional toll of striving for upward social mobility among Black people in the United States.

Show Notes

Cite this podcast – Sobota, P. (Host). (2023, May 16). Invisible visits: Black middle-class women in the U.S. health care system (No. 317)[Audio podcast episode]. In inSocialWork. University at Buffalo School of Social Work.

Join the discussion

More from this show

The inSocialWork Podcast

The inSocialWork Podcast