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Diversity and inclusion are certainly noble goals, but the case for pursuing them is rooted in demonstrable institutional benefits. Here in the Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, we are committed to achieving continuous improvement for the following reasons:
Hopkins has been a national leader in medicine because it has attracted and retained the best talent. Today, that talent must come from across the United States and the globe.
Reflecting our community
While racial and ethnic minorities make up 26 percent of the total U.S. population, only about 6 percent of practicing physicians and 9 percent of nurses are Latino, African American or Native American. In Baltimore, where 65 percent of the population is African American and where the Latino population has increased by nearly 50 percent in the last six years, there is a similar disconnect between providers and patients.
Bridging health disparities
Studies have found that minorities receive less and lower-quality health care than whites, resulting in higher mortality rates. According to research, minority physicians are more likely to care for patients of their own race or ethnicity, to practice in areas that are underserved, to care for poorer patients with less access to medical care, and to do research into reducing racial disparities in care.
Building cultural competence
Understanding and respecting patients' cultural backgrounds can lead to better care and higher satisfaction.
Competing for grants
Funding from the National Institutes of Health for training and research awards is increasingly emphasizing minority participation and recruitment.
In an inclusive culture, people's unique contributions are valued, and they are less likely to feel isolated and move on to other professional opportunities.