Why augmenting black men in medicine is essential

Why augmenting black men in medicine is essential

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the National Medical Association (NMA) recently announced a joint effort to convene the Collaborative Action for Black Men in Medicine to address the lack of representation of African American men in medicine. This effort follows a 2015 AAMC report, Changing course: black men in medicinewho drew attention to this national crisis, noting that there were more black men applying and enrolling in medical schools in 1978 than in 2014. Since 2014, there has been only a slight increasing enrollment of black males in medical schools, from 2.4% in the 2014-2015 academic year to approximately 3% in 2021-2022. African-American men make up only 3% of physicians.

Recently, medical schools, as well as health and education organizations, have stepped up their efforts to address this important issue. Why is this important, you ask me? In addition to promoting equity and opportunity for African American men, research shows that individuals are more likely to go to the doctor and be honest with their doctor about their health issues if their doctor is of the same race and, to a lesser extent, sex. According to a 2020 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by four University of Pennsylvania researchers, African-American patients have a better experience when their doctor is of the same race. Additionally, according to a 2022 Gallop poll, 53% of African Americans struggle to find a single stroke doctor.

Having high-quality, culturally sensitive access to health care is essential for African Americans personally, and is vital to the pursuit of equity as a nation. African Americans experience higher rates of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease and African American men “have the lowest life expectancy of any demographic group, living an average of 4.5 years younger than white men”. Several factors contribute to the health disparities faced by African Americans, but these disparities are exacerbated by the lack of available African American physicians in the United States.

AAMC and NMA recognize the need to focus on systemic change and increased collaboration across the education pipeline to overcome the persistent barriers that Black men face. Thus, the Collaborative Action is made up of experts from a myriad of disciplines who have identified premedical, academic medicine, and the socio-cultural factors at the root of the problem. After two years of planning, the Action Collaborative is now moving into its next phase, which requires the engagement of a broader range of partners from K-12, higher education, academic medicine, professional organizations, community organizations and other key stakeholders to work together to refine a national action agenda and plan the implementation and evaluation of system-wide solutions.

To achieve this goal, the Action Collaborative held a strategic summit where they developed a plan for the next 3 years. Summit attendees included representatives from K-12 education, foundations, healthcare companies, national science and healthcare professional organizations, federal government agencies, current medical students and professors and administrators of medical schools.

During the summit, participants identified factors in three areas that influence the pipeline and trajectory of black boys and men interested in medicine – premedical, academic medicine, and socio-cultural factors. According to Collaborative Action leaders, “Pre-medical factors include the quality of public education, funding, counseling and access to support systems. Factors related to academic medicine include pathway programs, recruitment, admissions, and leadership accountability for diversity. All of these factors are embedded in the institutional and societal structures and sociocultural environments that have been shaped by systemic racism, negative narratives of black men, and institutional cultures and climates that do not include black men.

As part of the follow-up to the Summit, Collaborative Action will: engage in listening sessions with stakeholders to obtain feedback on the action agenda; integrate more individuals, organizations and institutions who will join the AC coalition and serve as collaborators to develop, invest and implement an action program; and implement and monitor the progress of the action program. The hope, according to Collaborative Action partners, is that a systems approach to the problem will lead to lasting, system-wide change in the representation and experiences of African American physicians, while providing care. equitable and culturally appropriate. the black population as a whole.

#augmenting #black #men #medicine #essential

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *