Increasing Diversity in the Medical Workforce – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Increasing Diversity in the Medical Workforce

Kayla Cox


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Angela Weyand, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Pediatrics, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 4 (2pm-2:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 9
Presenter: 5

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Despite evidence that having a diverse physician workforce has a multitude of benefits, it is still not representative of the total United States population. Evidence supports the conclusion that minority doctors are more likely to work in underrepresented minority communities in need of healthcare expansion, as well as aiding in the reduction of health-related disparities (Ibrahim 2019). This study examines what influences minorities’ decision to continue or leave the pipeline to medicine, in hopes of identifying potential barriers. In order to better understand the issue, preliminary research was conducted to find out current statistics about underrepresented minorities in medicine. After examining past research, we formulated our own hypotheses of potential barriers including inadequate mentorship, an unstable educational foundation, and hostile learning climates in post-secondary education, and used these hypotheses to draft focus group questions. We will host interviews so that students of color can discuss and share their experiences pursuing the pipeline to medicine. We anticipate that the data collected will support our hypothesis that foundational issues and lack of support have impacted retention rates of medically-interested students. Based on that data, we plan on drafting a survey that will allow us to garner more responses. After the conclusion of this data collection process, we hope to draft a manuscript that could be used by medical institutions in order to understand how to recruit and retain higher numbers of underrepresented minority students.

Authors: Kayla Cox, Angela Weyand
Research Method: Library/Archival/Internet Research

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