According to the 2004 Institute of Medicine report "In the Nation's Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce," there are a number of benefits of racial and ethnic diversity among health professionals.
- Racial and ethnic minority health care professionals are more likely to serve minority and medically underserved communities, thereby increasing access to care;
- Racial and ethnic minority patients report greater levels of satisfaction with care provided by minority health professionals;
- Racial and ethnic minority health care professionals can help health systems in efforts to reduce cultural and linguistic barriers and improve cultural competence
- Diversity in higher education and health professions training settings is associated with better educational outcomes for all students. (IOM report; Feb. 5, 2004)
Additionally, in October 2004, the Sullivan Commission published "Missing Persons; Minorities in the Health Care Professions", a report which recommended, among other strategies, that "the complementary strategies of increasing diversity and ensuring cultural competence in all level of the health care workforce should be endorsed by all in our society, with leadership from key stakeholders in the health care system."
The specific following resources should help you encourage interested high school and undergraduate students consider family medicine as a career, as well as provide current medical students with information and resources about family medicine.
National Minority Health Month -- The goals of NMHM are to build public/private partnerships, foster cultural competency among health care providers, encourage health education and training and expand the use of state-of-the-art technology.
General Information on Family Medicine as a Career -- Information for practicing family physicians to share with their patients and others.
Pre-med Student Resources -- Online resources specifically for racial and ethnic minorities.Medical Student Resources -- Online association and financial information for minority and other medical students.