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More Recruiting of Underrepresented Minorities Needed at U.S. Medical Schools, Study Says
Date:1/28/2010

mber of women at the entry level, who just don't make it up the ladder," Merchant says.

Some of this is a preparation problem, Merchant says, and students in underrepresented communities need to be encouraged to study science and pursue biomedical fields. Once that pool has increased, strategies must be developed to retain trainees and potential faculty members.

"We know that Black physicians care for significantly more Black patients, and the same holds true for Hispanic physicians," Merchant says. "We also know that minority populations may be more likely to have more serious health care problems, either because they delay care because of financial constraints or access to providers.

"So enhancing the pool of underrepresented minorities among faculty and physicians will likely help alleviate some of the disparities in the quality of care among those populations. Medical schools and government officials need to make this a priority."

The article by Merchant and Omary provides detailed data from a variety of sources and also includes specific recommendations to both institutions and the underrepresented minorities themselves on how to reverse the current situation.

"We made a strong effort not only to highlight the problem but to also highlight specific recommendations that were assembled after consultation with several thought leaders nationally and locally," Omary says.

SOURCE University of Michigan Health System

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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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