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By: Sandy Chung, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics
“The American Academy of Pediatrics is deeply concerned about the impact of today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s admissions programs on the future physician workforce.
“The decision finds that colleges and universities can no longer consider race as a factor in admissions, which counters what the AAP and other medical organizations argued in the amicus brief we submitted in this case. As our brief describes, the deliberate diversification of student bodies in medical schools, and subsequently a diverse healthcare workforce, are vital to addressing health disparities.
“A growing number of studies have shown consistent health inequities along racial and ethnic lines. Evidence has also shown that a racially diverse healthcare workforce can help address these inequities. When pediatricians and other medical professionals train and practice alongside people with diverse backgrounds, they become more familiar with different cultures, challenge assumptions and improve care and health outcomes. Everyone benefits from exposure to diverse perspectives, from medical personnel to patients.
“There is already underrepresentation of certain racial and ethnic groups in medicine, which today’s decision is likely to exacerbate. All future pediatricians and other medical professionals deserve to be considered as applicants to higher education in a way that holistically reflects their lived experience, including how their race impacts their identity.
“The AAP will continue to support the development of a diverse pathway of future pediatricians to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population of children, and we call on policymakers to do the same.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds