Brooklyn doctor works to provide health care to underserved communities
A Brooklyn doctor wants to make sure your race or background doesn't determine the medical attention you receive.
Dr. Errol Byer has focused on providing access to quality health care for underserved communities in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Hospital Center for 20 years. It was dire before the coronavirus pandemic, and even more so now.
"I see the need in the community. We are in the big borough of Brooklyn, we have great technology, but a lot of our healthcare outcomes are not where they should be. So, it gives me great pleasure when patients come in and they feel that they have my ear. They feel like the community's needs are being met because I am in a position where I can push policy," Dr. Byer said.
Raised in Bed-Stuy and Flatbush, he has seen the struggle of those in the borough and says he understands. He recognizes that many people, especially people of color, don't always feel safe in medical spaces. But he says when his patients -- the majority Black and Latina women -- step into the safety-net hospital or his office, he's there be their support.
"We need our own advocates," Dr. Byer said. "No one is going to advocate for you [more] than someone that knows you, that grew up in the community and is looking out for your welfare. I have no hidden agenda."
Dr. Byer has some advice to other providers who may have implicit biases, serving those who are from a different background, hoping to break any barrier to top-notch care
"Accept them for where they are, don't judge them for an issue and try and do your best to help them."