Black Health: Disproportionate Impact and What We Can Do with Dr. Inaki Bent

This Black History Month we are lucky to be joined by guests who are positively impacting the lives of the Black community. Today we are joined by Dr. Inaki Bent, an attending physician with Jackson Health System who has made it his life’s work to make healthcare not only accessible, but proportionate to the level of care the white community has already come to expect. In today’s episode of Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories, Dr. Inaki Bent shares his story as an immigrant-born, Miami-raised doctor who has come full circle, providing medical care (and education) to his hometown and beyond. Listen in to learn more from Dr. Bent on the unaddressed healthcare disparities that have been prevalent for decades and how the Black community can take their power back.  

Chasing Big Dreams

Dr. Inaki Bent knew, even as a kid, that the medical industry was where he was meant to be. He attended a high school medical magnet program that started him on the path towards a career in the medical field. His path wasn’t always clear, but thanks to his mentors and a lot of hard work Dr. Bent forged ahead with a passion for helping people. He started his career practicing in the community he grew up in, which was a special moment for him and for the people who helped raise him. The pride they felt was only the beginning of the good that Dr. Bent brought to their community, and to the POC communities across South Florida. 

A Nationwide Problem

It is no secret that the African American community has been disproportionately affected when it comes to healthcare. According to Dr. Bent, this became even more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a disease that preys on the weak, populations who are sicker or immunocompromised are more likely to be impacted by the virus. People of color are at higher risk for conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart attack, strokes, colon cancer, prostate cancer, kidney disease, and more. Black women are 3 to 5 times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women. Black patients are 22% less likely than white patients to receive pain medication when they need it. Between unfair treatment, lack of access, and historical mistrust – these statistics continue to impact people of color across the country. 

Taking Back Health

Dr. Bent assures that taking back your health is possible and spends his days educating people of color on resources available to them. Exercise, diet, and finding medical professionals that represent their community are the things that can make a big difference. He emphasizes the huge role having Black doctors and representation has, and shares that it has been life changing to be the one to make patients feel like they matter.  

What else can you expect in this episode?

  • The story of Dr. Bent’s father and his experience fighting kidney disease.
  • Why lack of access to fresh foods has such a big impact on health, and how that connects back to people of color. (Learn more about food deserts in our episode with Health in the Hood)
  • How the Tuskegee Syphilis Study was just one of the many reasons there is medical mistrust in the Black community.
  • The story of one of Dr. Bent’s most memorable patients.
  • Why certain diagnoses are taboo in the Black community and Dr. Bent’s challenge to rethink how we view the advances in medical care.
  • Why mental health is just as important as physical health, and how to maintain both.

Where to find Dr. Inaki Bent: