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Minorities & Cultural Competence in Health Professions

The Issue

"A more racially and ethnically diverse physician workforce has positive implications for improving access to health care services in underserved areas and addressing health disparities." (AAMC Facts & Figures 2014)

By 2050, racial and ethnic minorities are projected to account for 54% of the US population.  While the US as a nation is growing in racial and ethnic diversity, this is not reflected in the health professions workforce.  As the Sullivan Report states, "Today's physicians, nurses, and dentists have too little resemblance to the diverse populations they serve, leaving many Americans feeling excluded by a system that seems distant and uncaring."  The report goes on to point out that the number of racial and ethnic minorities is expected to steadily increase to the point that they comprise a new majority. 

"America's success in improving health status and advancing the health sciences is wholly dependent on the contributions of people from a myriad of diverse backgrounds and cultures, including Latinos, Native Americans, African Americans, European Americans, and Asian Americans.  The lack of diversity is a key barrier to ensuring a culturally competent health care system at the provider, organizational, and system levels.  It diminishes our nation's capacity to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities and compromises our national capacity to advance the health sciences."  (Sullivan Report p. 28)

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About MED Talks

MED Talks provide a forum for students to openly discuss diverse, student-proposed topics in healthcare, medicine, and research as well as an opportunity to raise awareness and educate their peers in a professional setting.

Check out the MED Talks website for more information and upcoming events.

Changing medicine one talk at a time.

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