Meet Our 2018 Sojourns® Scholars - Cardinale Smith MD

This blog post and video is part of a series featuring the 2018 recipients of the Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns® Scholar Leadership Program.

By Ashley Alder
Meet Our 2018 Sojourns® Scholars - Cardinale Smith MD
Follow along with this series on the Cambia Health Foundation’s blog and learn how these 12 emerging palliative care leaders, from across the interdisciplinary team, are working to advance palliative care and transform the experience of people and families facing serious illness.

Sojourns® Scholar: Dr. Cardinale Smith
  • Oncologist and Palliative Medicine Physician at Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice, Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Associate Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
  • Project: The Role of Implicit Bias on Outcome of Minority Patients with Advanced Cancer
Minority patients with advanced and incurable cancer spend 3 minutes less with their oncologists during goals of care visits compared to non-minority patients. This statistic is not surprising given racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare access and quality are well documented. However, with the rapidly growing population of minority older adults, many of whom will face advanced serious illness, the availability of high-quality palliative care that meets the varied needs of all races and ethnicities needs to be a priority. 

In evaluating the relationship between an oncologist’s implicit bias and racial/ethnic disparities much of the focus has been on describing the problem. In addition, when interventions for improving the care of minority patients is identified, dissemination of this information is often slow or non-existent. 

With the goal of moving beyond description and into implementation, Dr. Cardinale Smith’s project will evaluate the association between oncologists’ implicit bias during discussions about advance cancer treatment and their resulting assessment of pain, and pain control, among these patients.   In the future, Dr. Smith hopes to use the information obtained during this program to generate feasibility data that better informs organizations and drives culture change

“Ultimately, I aspire to help shape and influence national policy regarding the most effective means of delivering quality and culturally appropriate palliative care that better supports populations that are most in need,” said Cardinale Smith MD

To learn more about Dr. Smith and her project with the Sojourns Scholarship Leadership Program, watch this video.

Meet more 2018 Sojourns Scholars: