Individuals who identify as Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander comprise roughly 30% of the U.S. population, but they are less than 15% of physicians.
And that gap is widening.
That’s concerning for many reasons, including that a workforce that better reflects the patient population is associated with improved outcomes for those patients. So a group of Nationwide Children’s Hospital physicians put together a novel plan to increase the percentages of underrepresented residents who “match” to Nationwide Children’s residency program.
The doctors who created that plan and have led it to notable successes have now reported on how it worked in the journal Pediatrics.
The percent of underrepresented residents who matched increased from 5% to 16% in 2018, 26% in 2019, 19% in 2020 and 21% in 2021.
“Creating just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive spaces for our patients, families, and staff is foundational to our vision of excellence in compassion, healing, discovery and innovation at Nationwide Children’s,” says Ray Bignall, MD, pediatric nephrologist and assistant chief diversity and health equity officer at Nationwide Children’s and the publication’s senior author.
“It doesn’t matter if our patients are from Linden, Lima, or Los Angeles; from the West Side, West Virginia, or West Africa. Championing diversity and health equity is how we prove that every child, every family, and everyone matters here.”