Michigan Health Lab: To achieve diversity among doctors, start in pre-med years
The pipeline of future physicians still doesn’t reflect the full spectrum of American society — so experts say institutional support should start earlier
Twenty years ago, the call went out to medical schools: It was time to “bridge the appalling diversity gap that separates medicine from the society it professes to serve,” said the president of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
It wasn’t just about equal access to the profession — it was a call to improve public health. Studies clearly show that diversity among doctors means better health for patients of color, better access for the poor and the underserved, and more.
Yet today, medical school classes are only slightly more diverse than they were in 1997. Meanwhile, the country’s mix of people with different skin colors, economic backgrounds, and family immigration and education histories has become even more diverse.
What can move the needle on diversity in the physician pipeline?
Starting further up the pipe, says a team of University of Michigan Medical School researchers who have studied the issue.
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