Study recommends increased enrollment of Hispanic students in medical schools
According to a study published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), it takes 92 years to correct the deficit of Hispanic physician in U.S.
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According to a study published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), it takes 92 years to correct the deficit of Hispanic physician in the United States. This study was based on the demographics of the US population compared to the US physician workforce for the years 2010 and 2015.
“Being Latina and a woman is an impediment because you don't see many women of color in medicine. In addition to the fact that being Latina is more difficult since they do not give us the same treatment in medicine. I want to change that," said Aslyn Anaya Planas, who will begin pre-med studies at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
To provide better access to health care, the study recommends increasing the number of university applications and student enrollment in medical schools. In fact, the payback time would be shorter if the number of black and Hispanic medical students tripled or quadrupled. If multiplied by four, the years would drop from 92 to about 30 years or less for both groups.
“Racial and ethnic diversity among health professionals promotes better access to health care, improves health care quality for underserved populations, and better meets the health care needs of our increasingly diverse population. If the goal is to achieve a diverse and representative physician workforce within our lifetimes, a sustained and multifaceted approach must be implemented that will address both the size of the underrepresented medical school applicant pool as well as the number of underrepresented medical students and postgraduate trainees,” the AAMC recommends in its study.
In 2015, there were an average of 20,349 allopathic medical school matriculants and 961,098 practicing physicians of all races and ethnicities. Of those, only 1,232 were Hispanic medical students and 60,549 physicians. Based on the population-level representation of Hispanics, the researchers expected 174,307 Hispanic physicians, leaving a shortfall of 113,758 Hispanic physicians.
The AAMC projects a total racial and ethnic representation deficit of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034.
The study, entitled “The national deficit of black and hispanic physicians in the US and Projected Estimates of Time to Correction”, was published on June 1, 2022. The research was conducted by: Héctor Mora, MD; Adetokunbo Abayemi, MD; Kevin Holcomb, MD, and Maurice Hinson, MD.