When it comes to the medical field, patients want the best.  When giving a diagnosis. people want a professional who understands symptoms and can correctly prescribe an antidote. Ethnicity or gender should be the last thing patients consider when going to the doctor.  So if a person’s resume or experience matters above anything, when dealing with a person’s life, should diversity matter?

Short answer, yes.  Long answer, yes.

As mentioned before on Global Diversity News, African American’s are more susceptible to being wrongly diagnosed for certain illness than other ethnic groups.  Doctors from a certain ethnic group can better understand the breakdown of issues plaguing that group simply due to family ties (uncles suffering from high blood pressure due to eating habits is an example).  In addition, paving the way for the future of America which is increasingly diverse will ensure that as a nation we are prepared to solve future health and medical problems.

STAT hosted the HUBweek panel discussing how diversity can increase in medical education and health care.  "Panelists included Dr. Joan Y. Reede, dean for diversity and community partnership and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Marshall Forstein, director of training for the division of adult psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance; and Elena Olsen, JD, executive director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Massachusetts General Hospital"  The three doctors spoke about the lack of diversity explaining that there are “only three female African American professors at Harvard out of a faculty of 12,000, and just 107 female African American professors across 145 med schools in the country.”

Solutions weren’t as forth coming but the agreed upon sentiment is that there needs to be more leadership and a push to reach out to young people in diverse communities.  In the medical field you need a particular set of skills to be successful.  If these skills aren’t identified and cultivated, they can be lost.  That is the bigger issue, and that is why it is important to support the recruitment of more minority doctors.

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