Texas Behind in Addressing Cross-Cultural Health Care Differences|
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I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
Twenty-five percent of medical residents in their final year of training at major U.S. hospitals said they were not prepared to deal with patients who had health beliefs at odds with Western medicine or newly arrived immigrants. Twenty percent said they were ill equipped to address cases where religious beliefs affected care.
Twelve percent of Texas residents are African-American, but only 3 percent of physicians and medical students in Texas are African-American. Thirty-six percent of Texans are Hispanic, but only 12 percent of medical students in Texas are Hispanic.
The only health profession in which African-Americans in Texas are represented in proportion to their population is pharmacy.
Texas Medicine, the official magazine of the Texas Medical Association, says that minority enrollment in Texas medical schools must increase dramatically if Texas is to meet the demands of its growing minority population. While the number of Hispanic and African-American college graduates grew significantly from 1990, medical school enrollment of these minorities is less than 20 percent. According to the magazine, the contributing factors are competition from out-of-state medical schools, inadequate public education and the federal court ruling in the Hopwood case that said Texas colleges and universities could not use race and ethnicity as a factor in admissions.
Texas needs more minorities turning to careers in health care to improve the health of the people in our communities.
For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.