The AAMC sponsored a Sept. 21 panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) 52nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) titled, “Preparing the Physician Workforce for Today, Bracing for Tomorrow.” The CBCF ALC is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global Black community, providing a forum for thought leaders, legislators, and concerned citizens to engage in discussions on economic development, civil and social justice, public health, and education issues.
The panel, moderated by AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Danielle Turnipseed, JD, MHSA, MPP, emphasized the urgent need to expand and enhance the physician workforce to help meet the needs of patients everywhere, with a particular focus on access to care for Black communities.
Panelists included Wanda Lipscomb, PhD, senior associate dean, diversity and inclusion, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; Jeannette E. South-Paul, MD, executive vice president and provost of the college, Meharry Medical College; Theodore (Ted) M. Shaw, JD, Julius L. Chambers, Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the Center for Civil Rights, University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights; and Ally Perleoni, director of government relations, AAMC. Panelists discussed the status of the physician shortage, highlighted legislative solutions to increase the number of physicians, provided physician diversity data, and profiled successful programs that expand the health care workforce. The panel also explored the impact of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on race-conscious admissions on the diversity of the future physician workforce.
The AAMC presented Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) with an Advocacy, Collaboration, and Education (ACE) Award for her leadership on critical issues facing the physician workforce, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (H.R. 2389/S. 1302), and health equity. Upon receiving the award, Congresswoman Sewell remarked that it is crucial that Congress use its power to advance health equity and invest in a more diverse physician workforce.