272414 Changing diversity in the professoriate: Future implications for the pipeline

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

Debra Perez, PhD, MPA , Public Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ
The current racial/ethnic composition of the US national health-care workforce continues to show a major imbalance in the number of Latinos in the health professions. For example, only 5.3 % of all physicians identify as Latino/Hispanic and about 2% of nurses are Hispanic/Latino. Although the Latino population has more than doubled in the past 30 years, Latinos remain underrepresented in health and health related professions requiring an advanced degree (e.g. pharmacy, nursing, physician).

Increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of the health care workforce is essential if any progress in assuring health equity is to be made. Evidence shows that: Latino health professionals are more likely to practice in underserved communities, are more likely to provide care to the poor, and provide service to racial/ethnic minorities, irrespective of income; and racial/ethnic concordance between health care professional and patient results in greater patient satisfaction. However, the intellectual and practitioner pipeline is fraught with barriers and detours for many Latinos. Several policy implications are inherent in the production of a strong Latino health care workforce, to contribute to the reduction of health care disparities in low-income Latino communities. This presentation will describe specific institutional processes and interventions to facilitate the increase of Latino public health, medical and allied health professionals. The focus is on reporting on what does and does not work, and how to strengthen the current health education pipeline infrastructure to implement effective policy in securing a significant increase in the national Latino health-care workforce as a critical means to health equity.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe barriers and challenges faced by the Latino health care workforce. 2. Identify strategies to increase Latinos in the health care professions. 3. Identify policy implications in securing health equity.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: **
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.