Physician–patient racial concordance and disparities in birthing mortality for newborns

Brad N Greenwood, Rachel R Hardeman, Laura Huang, Aaron Sojourner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


Recent work has emphasized the benefits of patient-physician concordance on clinical care outcomes for underrepresented minorities, arguing it can ameliorate outgroup biases, boost communication, and increase trust. We explore concordance in a setting where racial disparities are particularly severe: childbirth. In the United States, Black newborns die at three times the rate of White newborns. Results examining 1.8 million hospital births in the state of Florida between 1992 and 2015 suggest that newborn-physician racial concordance is associated with a significant improvement in mortality for Black infants. Results further suggest that these benefits manifest during more challenging births and in hospitals that deliver more Black babies. We find no significant improvement in maternal mortality when birthing mothers share race with their physician.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21194-21200
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Birthing outcomes
  • Concordance
  • Health care
  • Mortality
  • Racial bias

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Physician–patient racial concordance and disparities in birthing mortality for newborns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this