There is a large disparity in the number of Latin doctors and surgeons. Advocates are working to change that.

On the first National Doctor/Latino Day, which takes place on Saturday, advocates are working to raise awareness of the relatively small number of Latino doctors and surgeons present in the United States amidst the growing health care needs and disparities in society.

“Over the past 40 years, the number of Latino doctors has not changed. This is a failure,” Dr. Cesar Padilla, one of the campaign organizers and a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, told NBC News.

Hispanics represent 7% of the total workforce of physicians and surgeons and 9% of all health care practitioners and technicians, according to the Pew Research Center recently. Analytics. Meanwhile, approx 1 in 5 Americans62.6 million Latinos, according to the latest 2020 Census figures, a 23% increase from 2010.

“There was an urgent need to increase the number of Latino doctors in the United States before Covid. It is a crisis now,” Padilla added, noting the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the Latino community.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It shows Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to test positive for Covid-19, twice as likely to be hospitalized and 1.8 times more likely to die from the virus than their white counterparts. In total, Latinos made up so far 17.1% of all deaths related to Covid and 24.6% of all cases.

Hispanics are less likely to have health coverage than their non-Hispanic counterparts by 20% compared to 9%, According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Besides language and cultural barriers, socioeconomic factors have also led to poor patient outcomes, the report noted.

Doctors who spoke the same mother tongue and were able to relate to the cultural experiences of their patients linked results in higher patient outcomes, an idea he supports as well Accreditation Council for Higher Medical Education. The nonprofit group, which accredits all graduate medical training programs for physicians in the United States, Confirms The need to educate clinicians who are likely to work in underserved areas or with minority patients about these nuances.

“I was the only Mexican in my medical school class out of 104 students. It didn’t go well with me because I was concerned,” said Padilla, who is a dual fellowship trained from Harvard Medical School in critical care medicine and obstetrical anaesthesia, with additional training in planning Echocardiography in Critical Care: “I felt kinda out of place.”

Dr. Michael Galvez, director of pediatric hand and upper limb surgery at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madeira, California, also expressed concern about Low number of Latino faculty in surgery It has partnered with Padilla to help raise awareness about inequality.

Dr. Michael Galvez performs pediatric hand surgery.
Dr. Michael Galvez performs pediatric hand surgery.With permission from Dr. Michael Galvez

“We can’t be alone,” said Galvez, who has completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research fellowship and residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford. “When you look around and realize that you’re one of the few Latino or Latino doctors—it’s not enough.”

Padilla added, “If you want it Double your GCSE in medical school, it would take 92 years for the Latin medical workforce to meet the needs of the community.”

Although “National/Latin Doctor’s Day” has received no recognition from Congress, it has enjoyed widespread support from Latin and non-Latino organizations, nonprofits, and associations, including from American Medical Associationthe largest group in the country representing doctors and National Hispanic Medical Associationamong other things.

“We want patients to get angry, too,” Galvez said. “How is a pandemic written off when there are significant factors that have affected families? Just the death of a family member is a huge problem and it is painful. It is something that will take our society longer – to really gain a new balance.”

The two doctors focus their attention on California, the state with the largest Hispanic population, in 40%, by highlighting pipeline programs and support for marginalized aspiring medical students. Latino Account 11% of state medical school graduates.

Of the 940,254 physicians active in the country, 50,797 are Latino physicians. California has the highest total number of active physicians at 113,718, 6.3% of whom are Hispanic. In Texas, Latinos represent 11.3% of all active physicians; 15.8% in Florida; 5.2% in New York and 4.5% in Illinois, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. State workforce data report for 2021.

One of the support programs that doctors have highlighted is California medical scientistsa system-wide pilot program that collaborates with local universities and community colleges to increase the number of pre-Hispanic and minority students and diversify the workforce.

She has received $10 million in funding from the state of California and nearly $5 million in private donations.

“Now that is just one country. But what we need is we need this program to be multiplied across the country,” Padilla said.

Dr. Cesar Padilla is coaching Ariely Valencia, a medical student at Stanford University.
Dr. Cesar Padilla is coaching Ariely Valencia, a medical student at Stanford University.With permission from Dr. Cesar Padilla

Another program that helps the next generation succeed in medical school is Alliance in Mentoring / MiMentor, a national nonprofit that connects underrepresented aspiring physicians with mentors. The program has more than 13,000 members, 10% of whom come from California with a Hispanic background, according to Padilla, who serves as a senior medical education consultant.

Many Latinos have unconventional pathways into higher education, or They begin their higher education journeys at community colleges.

The cost of attending medical school is also a challenge for many Latino families.

For those looking to attend, average total Medical school costs $218,792, or an annual cost of $54,698, according to the Education Data Initiative data. For Latinos, the average debt is $211,659. Additional costs can also be added quickly, including living expenses, exam fees, and equipment, among others.

“It will take many years to improve things. We will continue to work towards it until there is full awareness from every organization [and] Faculty of medicine. Galvez said.

After recently completing an operation on a young patient, the child’s parents tell him that he is the first Latin doctor they have met. “It’s an honor,” Galvez said.

Follow NBC Latin on me FacebookAnd the Twitter And the Instagram.

Leave a Comment