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Are there enough Black American graduates from US Schools of Public Health doctoral programs to help eliminate racial/ethnic health disparities?

Carl V. Hill, MPH, Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, The University of Michigan, 109 S. Observatory Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, 713-320-3331, hillcv@umich.edu and Derek M. Griffith, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 319C Rosenau Hall, CB #7440, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440.

Black Americans are disproportionately affected by a variety of diseases when compared to other US racial/ethnic groups. Both the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Institute of Medicine indicate that a critical aspect of eliminating these disparities is to increase the proportion of Black American public health researchers and practitioners. They argue this will positively impact access to and quality of care, and provide research that is rooted in cultural realities. However, there must be an increase in the number of Black Americans trained in US schools of Public Health (ASPH) to accomplish this goal. Although the 2002 Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) annual report indicates that there has been a recent increase in the number of Black Americans admitted to doctoral programs, there is no indication of improved graduation rates. This presentation examines data from the National Center for Education Statistics on graduation rates for Black American students in medical and health sciences doctoral programs over the last 20 years. We will also offer suggestions on increasing the graduation rates of Black American students in public health doctoral programs, while also examining the impact of racial diversity in the public health workforce on the future of health disparities.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Access, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA