alexa Abstract | A call to action to address diversity in public health professional preparation

Diversity & Equality in Health and Care
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Abstract

Public health needs professionals who can manage a multitude of health issues that require interdisciplinary approaches and a wide range of perspectives in order to be adequately addressed. Educating a diverse body of public health students will increase the likelihood that the workforce can address the inherent challenges of an increasingly diverse United States (US) population. This study analyzed enrolment data from 37 schools and 29 programmes accredited in public health, to assess the level of diversity among US public health students. Findings showed that certain racial and ethnic groups were under-represented, particularly Hispanics, the fastest growing ethnic minority group in the US. The rates of acceptance for these groups have remained stagnant or decreased over the past decade. There is also substantial sex inequity in schools and programmes of public health, as females made up the majority of students. This study offers explanations for the disparities in public health student enrolment, as well as recommendations to increase the diversity of students in public health, particularly for groups that are the most likely to be under-represented, and extends these recommendations to programmes outside the US. 

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Author(s): Darren Mays Tamar Klaiman Shiriki Kumanyika Jay M Bernhardt

 
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