A National Need: The Importance of a Diverse Health Workforce to Improve Health Access and Quality Care for Hispanics
There is a significant strain on the health workforce and the number of minorities, specifically Hispanic health professionals, is disproportionately low when compared to the Hispanic population living in the United States (U.S.).
The 2010 Census counted 50.5 million Hispanics in the U.S. making up 16.3 percent of the total population. Additionally African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians, as a group, constitute nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population. Yet, these three groups account for less than 9 percent of nurses, 6 percent of physicians, and only 5 percent of dentists. Minority representation within the health professions directly relates to access to health care services in underserved communities and is viewed as “an integral part of the solution to improving access to care.” Despite, the Hispanic population being the largest ethnic group in the
U.S., it is also the most disparate in both health workforce size and health care access and quality.
Furthermore, many of the needed approaches to equitable healthcare for Hispanics will also require an understanding of the cultural and social determinants of health, which are based in the native heritages of many Hispanic immigrant populations. There is a clear need now for new approaches to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the health professions, and to enhance overall cultural competency training about the needs of minority populations.
Are YOU interested in addressing health disparities? This is where YOU come in:
The HSHPS Graduate Fellowship Training Program provides paid training opportunities for graduate and doctoral students and recent graduates interested in working on Hispanic health research. Fellows are placed across the U.S. and Latin America within government agencies and academic institutions to: enhance the trainee’s research and professional development skills; increase the trainee’s knowledge about Hispanic and other minority health issues; and provide opportunities to network with other health professionals. Going on to its 17th year, HSHPS has trained over 300 students. Most still work with Hispanic and other minority groups in government or academia, pursued higher degrees, published research, received NIH grants, and stay connected with HSHPS!
Interested candidates are encouraged to read more about HSHPS programs and fellowship placements on our website.