ERIC Number: EJ706793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct-7
Reference Count: N/A
U.S. Health Care Professions Separate and Unequal: Sullivan Commission-- Lack of Diversity May Be Greatest Cause of Health Disparities
Black Issues in Higher Education, v21 n17 p11 Oct 2004
A lack of diversity among health care professionals is placing the health of at least one-third of the nation at risk. This fact was among findings announced recently by the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce in its report, "Missing Persons: Minorities in the Health Professions." The 16-member commission calls for a new vision for health care focusing on excellence and ensuring equality of high-quality care for all. Three overlying principles are central to the commission's findings: (1) To increase diversity in the health professions, the culture of health professions schools must change. Colleges, universities, health systems and other organizations must examine the practices of their own institutions; (2) New and nontraditional paths to the health professions must be explored; major improvements in the K-12 educational system are needed but health professions schools cannot remain stagnant while these improvements take shape; and (3) Commitments must be made at the highest levels; change can happen when institutional leaders support change. The report also identifies 37 specific action steps. Among them are: (1) Shifting the financing of health professions education from student loans to scholarships; (2) Reducing dependency on standardized testing for admission to schools of medicine, nursing and dentistry; (3) Enhancing the role of two-year colleges in preparing students for a career in the health professions; and (4) Substantially increasing federal funding to support diversity programs within the National Health Service Corps, and Titles VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act. The Sullivan Commission is comprised of health, business, legal professionals and other leaders. The independent commission was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is administered by the Duke University School of Medicine as part of larger efforts to address the problem of diversity in health professions.
Descriptors: Medical Education, Student Diversity, Minority Groups, Health Occupations, Scholarships, Public Health, Allied Health Occupations Education, Allied Health Personnel, Diversity (Institutional), Minority Groups, Access to Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Public Health Service Act