AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, joined leadership from the four Historically Black College and University medical schools in testifying at a May 12 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee field roundtable titled, “How Can We Improve Health Workforce Diversity and Address Shortages? A Conversation With Historically Black College and University Leaders and Students.” The roundtable, held at Morehouse School of Medicine, largely focused on the need for diverse doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, and the lack of representation of Black health professionals.
“We know physician workforce diversity is in the best interest of the health of people everywhere,” Skorton stated in his testimony. He also cited a recent study by AAMC Workforce Studies Director Michael Dill and others, which found that Black people live longer in places with more Black doctors. Skorton urged support of the bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2023 (S. 1302/H.R. 2389), investment in the Health Resources Services Administration’s Title VII and VIII workforce programs and the National Health Services Corps, expansion of medical schools at minority servings institutions, programs that reduce financial obstacles to medical education, and funding for programs authorized through the Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (P.L. 117-105) to address learner and physician burnout.
In a key exchange, Skorton was asked what medical educators are doing to reform curriculum and make physicians more culturally competent. He highlighted efforts the AAMC has undertaken including the association's Action Plan 4 to increase the number of diverse medical school applicants and matriculants and the AAMC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies guide.