Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Healthcare Industry Needs Greater Diversity for Its Ailments


The healthcare industry is marked with challenges concerning the dispensing of or the availability of healthcare services to minority groups, notably the Blacks, shortage of minority physicians, and healthcare job opportunities in the industry, and increasing diversity is needed for these ailments.

It is said that the healthcare industry is marked with “persistent health disparities across race” and for which racial stereotyping can be a factor. This weakens efforts to properly dispense healthcare to minority groups. 

It has been found that black women's healthcare is thereby affected by this so-called negative racial stereotyping. A study, the first-of-its-kind, conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina and the Loyola Marymount University found that negative racial stereotyping causes anxiety among patients “when confronted by negative racial stereotypes while receiving healthcare.” Read more at:

Racial stereotyping has long been identified to cause minorities to shy away from physicians who are not of their race or ethnicity. Another study done in 2012, showed that:
 bias and stereotyping were associated with markers of poor communication during patient visits and resulted in low ratings of care by patients in a post-visit survey. The findings were particularly evident among black patients, who appeared most affected by these attitudes and behaviors.

To address the issue of stereotype threat, it is essential to increase diversity among healthcare practitioners so that more minority physicians can be available to provide competent patient care to those of their own racial or ethnic groups. However, that is another issue which ails the healthcare industry.

There are several initiatives to resolve the lack of diversity among healthcare workers. For example, the $85 million Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine to be built on the campus of New Mexico State University is as much about training minority and Native American doctors as it is about helping alleviate a doctor shortage in New Mexico, the report said.
Aside from increasing diversity among physician workforce, another mission of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine is to improve health care in southern New Mexico and along the New Mexico-Mexico border. - Read more at:

A medical summer camp program in Minnesota, aims to help increase diversity in the healthcare field as well.  The High School Scrubs Camp has been put up towards that goal, and it allows young people who are interested in the health care industry – or going to nursing or medical school after they graduate – get a taste of what working in the field is really like.
By encouraging and attracting young people to go into the healthcare sector, the medical summer camp program is deemed to increase diversity and the number of health care workers in Minnesota.  - See more here:

Recently,  it has been noted in an article
“Pre-baccalaureate healthcare workers make up a large share of the healthcare workforce and should be seen as an asset in providing high-quality, cost-effective healthcare,” write Martha Ross, Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, and Jane Williams in their new report detailing the size, characteristics, and growth of health care occupations employing large shares of workers with an associate’s degree or less.

The same article also adds 
pre-baccalaureate health care workers in the 10 highlighted occupations are racially and ethnically diverse, with large shares of blacks, Latinos, and Asians. They are thus positioned to help provide culturally competent care, an increasingly important value to health care institutions.
Clearly, diversity is seen as the best remedy for what ails the healthcare industry today.  The industry may not be as robust, but it is a time replete with lots of opportunities for recovery, reform and advancement.

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