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Representation in Health Professions Preamble

Hispanics/Latinos are severely underrepresented in the health professions. Accordingly the delivery of health care services to the Hispanic/Latino community suffers. in addition, communities need culturally competent, and culturally sensitive professionals in all disciplines to address their needs with appropriate programs and services.


  1. Underrepresentation of Hispanics/Latinos at all levels of the health professions, including practitioner, faculty, advanced career positions, and decision-making bodies.
  2. Underrepresentation of Hispanics/Latinos in the educational pipeline of the health professions.
  3. Lack of adequate mechanisms for identifying, recruiting, retaining, and promoting Hispanics/Latinos in health and science professions.
  4. Underfunding for Hispanics/Latinos in health and science education programs.
  5. Underutilization of linguistically and culturally competent foreign-educated Hispanic/Latino health professionals to provide care in Hispanic/Latino communities.

Summary of Key Strategies

  1. Promote the recruitment, retention, and advancement of Hispanic/Latino health professions faculty, including an increase of tenured and tenured track faculty. (Local)
  2. Ensure the entry and retention of Hispanics/Latinos through funding incentives (such as institutional development) in undergraduate and graduate programs at Hispanic/Latino- serving institutions and Hispanic Centers of Excellence.
  3. Establish guidelines for the recruitment and retention of Hispanic/Latino students in all health professions and make universities accountable by tying the requirements to levels of funding.
  4. Ensure the broad dissemination of information on financial assistance and educational initiatives-- such as college work-study programs, grants, scholarships, fellowships, and national service.
  5. Develop and support awareness, educational enrichment, and student guidance and mentoring programs to encourage Hispanic/Latino students to pursue careers in the health professions.
  6. Develop licensure preparation courses, alternate competency examinations, and tracking mechanisms to increase retraining opportunities and promote the greatest use of Hispanic/Latino foreign-trained health professionals.

Specific Strategies

Key Audiences: Local, State, and Federal administrators and officials.

Communication and Representation

  • Increase the use of media resources to promote positive images and advancements of Hispanics/Latinos of both genders in health and science careers. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Increase the participation of Hispanics/Latinos in commissions, task forces, advisory committees, boards, and conferences sponsored by county, State, and Federal health departments or agencies. (Local, State, and Federal)


  • Develop information programs on Hispanic/Latino education data for members of school boards, university regents, foundation boards of trustees, and county, State, and Federal education and health administrators. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Develop electronic and computer-accessible Hispanic/Latino bulletin boards to provide access to Hispanic/Latino databases via 800 lines for "net-working" information regarding available resources and career development programs. (State, Federal)
  • Require the NIH Office of Minority Health Research to establish a Hispanic/Latino health division. (Federal)
  • Increase access for Hispanics/Latinos in biomedical research and health professional educational systems. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Increase the involvement of Hispanic/Latino families, teachers, principals, and faculty in decision-making processes regarding all levels of Hispanic/Latino education issues.
  • Increase the involvement of Hispanic/Latino faculty in planning, funding, admission, and curriculum activities. (Local)
  • Encourage education administrators to provide Hispanic/Latino bilingual tutors for students in primary and secondary levels and to increase the number of Hispanic/Latino faculty to be consistent with the Hispanic/Latino population.
  • Promote the retention, advancement, and increase of tenured and tenured track faculty. (Local)
  • Develop leadership training programs, such as the Cuban-American National Council Leadership Board Training Model, that enhance the career development of Hispanic/Latino health professionals. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Support and expand programs targeting Hispanic/Latino student participation (such as Minority Biomedical Research Support Programs and Minority Access to Research Careers (MBRS/MARC)) at biomedical research and health professional schools and Hispanic Centers of Excellence. (Federal)
  • Establish funding incentives targeting the entry and retention of Hispanics/Latinos in undergraduate and graduate institutions serving Hispanic/Latino populations to reverse the extremely low rates of Hispanics/Latinos with a college education.
  • Expand support for culturally competent education and science enrichment programs and models that promote the success of Hispanic/Latino health and science students, clinicians, and academicians. (State, Federal)
  • Provide funding to health professional schools that recruit Hispanic/Latino clinicians from low income areas. (State, Federal)
  • Develop additional loan forgiveness, college work-study, and scholarship/fellowship programs specifically targeted for Hispanic/Latino students and practitioners, particularly in extremely rural and urban communities.
  • Establish mechanisms to disseminate information on how to obtain student financial assistance, grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
  • Promote the use of non-biased cultural measures and assessments for admission and licensing exams and accountability and performance standards. (State, Federal)
  • Develop tracking mechanisms for foreign medical graduates to determine sites where retraining opportunities are available, health care positions and vacancies are posted, and license requirements are disseminated.
  • Develop licensure preparation courses and alternate competency examinations for Hispanic/Latino foreign-trained health professionals. (State, Federal)


  • Develop and fund adopt-a-student programs to encourage recruitment and retention of Hispanics/Latinos into health and science professions. (State, Federal)
  • Increase the number of Hispanic/Latino health professionals by eliminating barriers that prevent, deter, or delay licensure. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Develop and increase support for programs that employ foreign-trained Hispanic/Latino health professionals. (State, Federal)

Public-Private Partnership

  • Develop and support early awareness, dropout prevention, and other education enrichment programs such as "Padres A Ia Escuela" (Washington, D.C.) and the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program at Arizona State University. (Local, State, Federal)
  • Support Hispanic/Latino corporate-sponsored mentoring programs in the health science professions. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Develop cooperative agreements between private and public institutions for support of research by Hispanic/Latino scientists. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Solicit funding for endowed Chairs for Hispanic/Latino faculty members at educational institutions. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Collaborate with State licensing boards, university presidents, State legislators, and professional associations to expand career opportunities for Hispanic/Latino educators and health professionals. (Local, State)


  • Develop and support education enrichment and student guidance programs that address special needs of Hispanic/Latino students contemplating health or science careers. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Promote awareness among elected officials (city council members, mayors, county commissioners, etc.) of health education issues affecting Hispanics/ Latinos. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Support the development of licensure examinations for foreign-trained Hispanic/Latino health professionals. (State)
  • Collaborate with leaders of educational and health professional associations to increase Hispanic/Latino involvement and leadership. (Local, State, and Federal)
  • Promote inclusion and participation of Hispanic/Latinos in editorial boards of professional health and science journals and publications. (Local, State, and Federal)


Table of Contents

Content Last Modified: 3/17/2006 2:44:00 PM
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