These doctors are trying to get more people of color to join their ranks.
To many in the medical profession, it’s a public health crisis in the making: While African-Americans make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, only about 6 percent of doctors are black. And evidence shows that patients feel better about the quality of their health care when their doctors look like them.
With role models, can minority students change medicine’s racial imbalance?
“There’s something to be said for meeting students where they are,” said tour cofounder Dr. Alden Landry, an emergency room physician and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “These are students who are often overlooked.”
Wanted: More Black and Latino doctors
“When you diversify the physicians, not only do the physicians treat more patients of color, more patients of disadvantaged backgrounds, but the patients themselves actually respond more favorably,” said co-founder Kameron Matthews, a family physician in Chicago. “You really can affect patient outcomes.”
‘Pipeline’ Programs Try to Steer Minority Students to Careers in Medicine
They target blacks and Hispanics who might never have considered becoming a doctor.
theGrio’s 100: Drs. Kameron Matthews and Alden Landry, inspiring future doctors city by city
While having grown up in different parts of the country, Matthews from Philadelphia and Landry in Houston, they both realized that diversity of the health care workforce is not only important, but necessary in tackling the country’s racial and ethnic health care disparities.