Too Few Minorities in U.S. Well being Care Workforce: Report

Too Few Minorities in U.S. Health Care Workforce: Report

WEDNESDAY, March 31, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Black, Hispanic, and Native American individuals are considerably underrepresented in U.S. well being professions, with little indication that range will enhance, a brand new research says.

In 2019, Black individuals made up about 12.1% of the U.S. workforce, however their illustration in 10 well being professions studied ranged from 3.3% for bodily therapists to 11.4% for respiratory therapists.

“Our findings recommend that Black, Latino and different individuals of coloration have been left behind on the subject of the well being professions,” mentioned lead writer Edward Salsberg, co-director of the Well being Workforce Variety Tracker mission at George Washington College’s Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Well being Workforce Fairness in Washington, D.C. He spoke in a college information launch.

Within the 10 professions — which included docs, nurses and pharmacists — the range index for Black individuals was 0.54. A range index of 1 means the range of the general workforce and that within the career are equal.


In 5 of the ten well being professions, the illustration of Black staff amongst new graduates was lower than in observe, suggesting that their illustration in these professions could also be even decrease sooner or later.

In 2019, Hispanic individuals accounted for 18.2% of the U.S. workforce, however their illustration within the well being professions ranged from 3.4% for bodily therapists to 10.8% for respiratory therapists, leading to a range index of 0.34.

Native American individuals accounted for 0.6% of the general U.S. workforce in 2019, however their illustration among the many 10 professions ranged from a low of zero to a excessive of 0.9%, for a range index of 0.54.

The findings have been printed on-line March 31 within the journal JAMA Community Open.

The researchers mentioned their findings are vital as a result of minority well being professionals are key to efforts to scale back the disproportionate burden of ailments, together with COVID-19, amongst communities of coloration.

“By constructing a extra numerous well being workforce, america would enhance entry and enhance outcomes in underserved communities and for high-need populations,” research co-author Toyese Oyeyemi mentioned within the launch.


Co-author Maria Portela mentioned the findings present that well being workforce roles that require post-graduate coaching endure from a major underrepresentation of minorities that lags behind their illustration within the normal inhabitants.

“This pattern is unlikely to alter except we dedicate consideration and sources to repair it,” she mentioned.

Oyeyemi and Portela are co-directors of the Variety Tracker mission on the Mullan Institute.

Extra info

The RAND Company has extra on range within the U.S. well being care system.

SOURCE: George Washington College, information launch, March 31, 2021

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