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Mistrust of the Health System

Rev. Bobby Baker, Director of Faith and Community Partnerships, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Discuss at least two reasons why some underserved people mistrust health care.
  • Explain how health care could improve trust with underserved people.

Description: Mistrust of health care systems is one of the causes of health care inequities in the United States. In this video, Rev. Bobby Baker explains what drives this mistrust. Rev. Baker helps direct a unique partnership between Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and local church congregations in Memphis, Tennessee. The partnership between providers and churches helps promote the health of the community and build trusting relationships with the health care system.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Rev. Baker names two reasons for mistrust in health systems: historical betrayals of trust and difficulty accessing health care. Can you think of any other reasons people may distrust health care or health care providers?
  2. Many people find health care difficult to understand and access. Do you think the responsibility for better understanding lies with patients, health systems, or both?
  3. Why do you think Rev. Baker recommends “paving the path people are already walking”? 
  4. Can you think of an example of how the health care system could better serve people where they are already seeking health and health care?
  5. Rev. Baker says that sometimes people feel the health care system is “trying to get rid of” them. Have you ever experienced this feeling in health care, with yourself, a family member, or a patient?
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