Medical student receives fellowship award to study racial disparities in health outcomes of gunshot victims

2021 is on track to be a record-breaking year for gun deaths in the United States. So far this year, more than 12-thousand people have died from gunshot wounds (not including suicides), according to the online Gun Violence Archive. And the CDC reports that Black/African American communities are disproportionately affected by gun violence.

Amidst this public health crisis, Sarah Makhani, a fourth-year medical student at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, wants to find out if there are racial disparities in the health outcomes of gunshot victims. Her proposed project recently won a research fellowship from the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She will use the $6,000 award to purchase national hospital databases like the National Inpatient Sample and the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.

“We’ll be looking at big data for clinical outcomes of different racial groups and whether there is an implicit bias in treatment,” said Makhani.

The study will compare different racial groups regarding what kind of treatment they were provided, how quickly, and the length and cost of hospitalization.