5 Ways to Boost Diversity in the Medical Community

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, September 14, 2015

Despite a recognized need for an increasingly diverse physician workforce, research confirms that fewer black men attend medical school today than in 1978. How can physicians and educators ban together to help reverse this problem? A recent report from Academic Medicine outlines key diversity solutions.   Of all the common misconceptions about diversity in medicine, perhaps the most prevailing are that it only impacts students of color or fills perfunctory affirmation action quotas. But considering the outcomes for black patients—who have some of the highest rates of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in the nation—such thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, a recent study in JAMA found that non-white physicians cared for 53.5 percent of minority patients and 70.4 percent of non-English-speaking patients, underscoring the crucial link between diversifying the physician workforce and reducing health disparities. This is why “Altering the Course: Black Males in Medicine,” a new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), gathered the perspectives of 11 black premedical students, physicians, researchers and leaders through interviews to explore possible factors for the decline of black men in medical school and broad-based solutions to alter them. While one solution won’t instantly curb the dearth of black men in medicine, institutions can take certain steps to connect with black men in their communities and attract more diverse applicants, according to the report.  To read about some of these steps, log on to AMA Wire.