African Americans as Physicians

Although blacks and African-Americans comprise 13 percent of the nation, they account for only 4 percent of the physician workforce.

In the past three decades, there has been little growth among black or African-American medical school graduates. Nonetheless, minority-serving institutions continue to be the largest producers of black or African-American and Hispanic or Latino physicians. The two U.S. medical schools graduating the most black or African-American physicians from 1980 to 2012 were historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Howard University and  Meharry Medical College.

Among Asians, blacks or African-Americans, and Hispanics or Latinos, women make up a greater percentage of younger physicians (age 29 and younger) compared to their male counterparts. In light of changing demographics of the U.S. population, if this trend continues, it suggests a shift in future years toward even greater percentages of women in the physician workforce.

In fact, this shift has already occurred among black or African-American physicians, which is the only racial or ethnic group currently comprising a greater percentage of women than men. This difference is even more apparent among medical school applicants where women comprise roughly two-thirds of black or  African-American  applicants.

 

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