Declining Minority Physicians In California Essay

1998 words - 8 pages

Minority care quality in California is rapidly declining because of the shortage of minority physicians in practice. One might wonder why such a problem exists, but differences in cultural and ethnic identities between doctors and patients alter the quality of care because of preexisting stereotypes, health disparities, and linguistic gaps. Minorities in California consist of those other than non-Hispanic whites, and with their growing presence, they are becoming further underrepresented in the medical field. The foundation of this problem is the declining number of minority students attending medical school and the lack of diversity in medical school faculty. With a greater ethnic diversity in the medical field, comes a better quality of healthcare in culturally diverse places like California. Minority doctors tend to open up their offices where their ethnic group is in great numbers, but with the deteriorating number of minority physicians, these facilities are not being established to provide care to their respective minority patients. Not only do minority doctors open their offices in areas of need, but they are also inclined to help patients with lower incomes, no insurance, and Medicaid. With over 37 million people who call California home, over 40% consider themselves other than white, yet fewer than 10% of practicing physicians are part of a minority group (Grumbach et al. 7). The number of minority doctors in California is not representative or proportional to the minority population, and this is a dire medical problem because of the lack of proper communication between doctors and patients of different ethnicities and cultures. This lack of communication and social connection can cause serious health concerns for minorities because of the potential to withhold important health information from the doctor and not adhering to necessary medications prescribed by the physician. A problem with healthcare in the United States today, and especially here in California, is the significant underrepresentation of minorities in the medical field who will soon take over the majority. Caused by years of discrimination, segregation, and elitism in medical schools, minorities have struggled with the disparities, and this is adversely affecting the health of almost half the population of ethnically diverse California.
Years of discrimination and segregation in medical schools and fewer minority students pursuing a career in medicine in California have led to the relatively small number of minority doctors in practice. Throughout history, segregation and discrimination have taken place in education, including medical schools and their admission of minorities. Since then, medical schools have adopted affirmative action, which ensures the proper enrollment of underrepresented minorities in medical schools and allows these students a chance to pursue a career in medicine. A highly controversial program in today’s society, Affirmative Action allows the...

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