BCMSMedicalRecordSpring2017 - 19

Another concern raised by the need of so many students to
borrow so much is the potential effect on the diversity of medical
school applicants. Society benefits when those in the medical
profession mirror the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic makeup of
that society. The fact that we are far from this ideal state is illustrated
in part by the following data from the Kaiser Family Foundation
regarding the 2015 graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools:
only 5.8% were Black and only 4.7% were Hispanic, whereas
these groups made up 12% and 18% respectively of the total U.S.
population that year. Financial considerations are not the only
barrier to greater diversity, and in fact are certainly less important
than a number of other barriers, but probably do play some role
now and are likely to play a greater role as time goes on and current
trends continue.
To sum up, not only is T.J. justified in his alarm over how much
student debt Connor might accumulate is pursuing his (for now)
chosen career, and how this debt could affect Connor personally,
but we all should be concerned about the potential for this issue
to exacerbate the already-pervasive problem of stress and burnout
in the profession, and its potential to decrease access to care for
low-income populations, draw newly-trained physicians away from
Pennsylvania, and make the goal of a truly diverse community of
physicians more difficult to achieve. Since physicians are the group
most directly affected and therefore most aware of this issue, we
should work together through organized medicine to find solutions
for the medical students of today. After all, we are counting on them
to care for us tomorrow.

SPRING 2017

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http://www.hhcminc.org/ http://www.Caron.org/professionals

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BCMSMedicalRecordSpring2017

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