Magazine article Techniques

Report on Minorities in the Health Professions

Magazine article Techniques

Report on Minorities in the Health Professions

Article excerpt

A report by the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce finds that "African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and certain segments of the nation's Asian/Pacific Islander population are not present in significant numbers" in the makeup of the nation's physicians, dentists and nurses.

While acknowledging that the nation's medical, nursing and dental schools have made efforts toward increasing minority enrollment since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the report finds that, collectively, they have not succeeded in achieving greater diversity among their students, especially in light of our increasingly diverse population. For example, together, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and American Indians make up more than 25 percent of the U.S. population, but only nine percent of the nation's nurses--and less than 10 percent of baccalaureate nursing faculties.

The vision put forth by the commission focuses on high-quality care for the entire population and notes that, "Diversity is a key to excellence in health care. To achieve that new vision, care must be provided by a well-trained, qualified, and culturally competent health professions workforce that mirrors the diversity of the population it serves. …

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