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UCSB Summer Research Academy 2023

UCSB SRA Presentation (Fig-1)
UCSB SRA Presentation (Fig-2)

Last summer, I took an exhilarating dive into the world of research at the UCSB Summer Research Academies. Thrust into the academic deep end, under the guidance of a seasoned 6th-year Ph.D. student at UCSB, I embarked on a research journey delving into the critical issue of discrimination within the healthcare system. The title of our group's research paper was "The Role of Racial Identity Among Non-Citizen Immigrants in Healthcare Access and Efficiency." During my month-long stay at UCSB, I had the opportunity to gain a great amount of valuable knowledge, not just from my own research but also from the enlightening presentations of my peers as we culminated the program. The topics explored within our track were profoundly eye-opening, shedding light on critical aspects of social justice, healthcare systems, and systemic racial disparities. Our chosen path led us to utilize data from the California Health Interview Survey, leveraging Stata software to conduct regressions. By tackling an under-discussed topic, we collectively engaged in a daily journey of discovery, broadening our understanding of these vital issues.

Presenting our research at SRA Capstone Seminar

Research Summary

The research article titled "Pain and Prejudice: The Role of Racial Identity Among Non-Citizen Immigrants in Healthcare Access and Efficiency" presents a comprehensive analysis of healthcare disparities among non-citizen immigrants (NCIs) in the United States, mainly focusing on the intersection of racial identity and citizenship status. This study, utilizes data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) spanning from 2011 to 2019. The unique aspect of this research lies in its nuanced exploration of the differences in healthcare experiences among various racial subgroups within the NCI population, a perspective that has been relatively under-explored in past literature.

The study's methodology involves analyzing delays in healthcare, specifically in receiving prescriptions and needed care, and the underlying reasons, such as service costs and lack of health insurance. The researchers categorize NCIs into racial groups (Hispanic, White, Black, Asian) and control for variables like age, sex, and education level to assess healthcare access and efficiency disparities.

Key Findings:

  • Hispanic NCIs are more likely to experience healthcare delays, primarily due to service costs or lack of health insurance.

  • Asian NCIs are least likely to face such delays and also less likely to cite cost or insurance issues.

  • There is a significant disparity in health insurance coverage among different NCI groups, with White NCIs being more likely to be insured compared to other racial groups.

The study's results reveal systemic issues in healthcare access among NCIs, highlighting that disparities exist not only between citizens and non-citizens but also within different racial groups of non-citizens. The research underscores the complexity of healthcare inequities and challenges the generalized perception of NCIs as a homogenous group.

Furthermore, the article discusses potential mechanisms driving these disparities, including the impact of federal health policies, educational attainment, and occupational choices among different racial groups of NCIs. For instance, Hispanic NCIs, often low-skilled with limited English proficiency, face more significant challenges in accessing healthcare compared to high-skilled White and Asian NCIs. The study also points out the limitations in federal health programs that disproportionately affect certain NCI groups.

In conclusion, the research significantly contributes to understanding healthcare disparities within the NCI community. It highlights the need for nuanced policy-making that addresses the specific needs of different racial groups within NCIs to move toward health equity. The article's unique approach lies in its detailed examination of internal racial disparities within the NCI community, offering a more comprehensive view of the healthcare challenges faced by this diverse population.

The study's limitations include excluding certain racial groups due to the limited sample size and the potential impact of COVID-19 on the data. The researchers suggest a robust and objective health equity metric and call for further research to delve deeper into the internal racial disparities within the NCI community.

Overall, the research presents an in-depth analysis and novel approach to understanding healthcare disparities among NCIs, emphasizing the importance of considering internal diversity within marginalized groups to formulate effective healthcare policies.

UCSB Pain and Prejudice Paper (Fig-1)
UCSB Pain and Prejudice Paper (Fig-2)
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