Share of African American Men Pursuing Medicine Hits Historic LowMay 23, 2018 |
by Giorgia Guglielmi
Even as US diversity initiatives try to increase the representation of minority ethnic groups in science and medicine, the proportion of black men pursuing such careers is reaching historic lows. In 1986, 57% of African American medical-school graduates were men — but by 2015 that share had dropped to just 35%, even as the total number of black graduates had increased.
Given the extent of racism and discrimination, “it’s difficult for black males to be able to progress”, says Cato Laurencin, a surgeon-scientist at University of Connecticut in Farmington. Laurencin chaired a workshop on the issue that was convened last November by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Cobb Institute, a non-profit organization in Washington DC that develops strategies to eliminate health disparities and racism in medicine.