Now Reading: Addressing The Lack Of Diversity In The Health Professions (Health Affairs)

413 Grumbach K, Mendoza R. Disparities In Human Resources: Addressing The Lack Of Diversity In The Health Professions. Health Aff. 2008;27(2):413-422. [Accessed March 27, 2008].

This is a nice analysis of solutions from the Family and Community Medicine Team at University of California, San Francisco, to support diversity in the health professions, which unfortunately have not yet reached levels comparable to the general population, especially in allopathic medicine.

There are two concepts that reinforce that this is not just an issue for health care, it is an issue for society, and the people and businesses that depend on a strong health care system:

The business case highlights the customer service and competitive advantages to the health industry of having a workforce that is culturally and linguistically attuned to the increasing diversity of the nation’s health care consumers.


A wide group of organizations—including the AAMC and other health professions educational organizations, higher education institutions, consumer groups, and Fortune 500 companies—contributed amicus briefs and other documents in support of the University of Michigan in Grutter v. Bolinger, signifying a more concerted effort to identify and organize stakeholders interested in supporting diversity efforts.

Many physicians, myself included, work in the most downstream parts of this ecosystem, and it’s therefore helpful to consider that there are places we can be to create a more effective care system for everyone. From my travels to date, it’s clear to me that these are worthy investments of my physician colleagues’ expertise. None of us enjoy waking up to a world where the quality of health care is dependent on things other than the fact that you are a human being.

Ted Eytan, MD