Racial bias and stereotyping contribute to inferior treatment for pain in minority patients, experts tell The New York Times . As a result, minority patients suffer more disability than white patients. Minority patients use fewer opioids, researchers say. A new study finds black patients are significantly less likely to receive opioids when they visit an emergency room for “nondefinitive” abdominal or back pain. Pain researcher Adam Hirsh at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis says doctors may falsely believe black patients are more likely to abuse drugs. They also may empathize less with patients of a different race and underestimate how severe their pain is. Only 4 percent of U.S. doctors are black.