FASHP Men of Color in the Health Professions Consensus Statement
May 1, 2023
- Systematic racism and the oppression of people of color have resulted in significant underrepresentation of men of color (MOC) in the health professions. Men of color refer to any individual who identifies as a man and is underrepresented racially/ethnically in the health professions. MOC are disproportionately underrepresented in the health professions at all levels compared to other racial/ethnic and/or gender counterparts. A continued lack of awareness, marginalization and unconscious bias has led this issue to reach crisis proportions. This crisis is reflected in absolute numbers in academic institutions, in the representation of health professionals, in the elevation to leadership positions, and in health outcomes across the health professions.
- The underrepresentation of MOC in the health professions extends well beyond the specifics of low numbers and has significant consequences for public health, education, social justice and historically underserved communities. MOC are disproportionately under-recruited and retained throughout the K-16 and graduate education pathway, creating a national workforce shortage of a diverse health professions sector. Failure to adequately address the underrepresentation of MOC in the health professions will perpetuate and worsen education and health disparities, particularly for underserved communities.
- Entities of health professional practice, research, education and policy have the individual and collective ethical and moral responsibility to prioritize increasing the presence of MOC in the health professions as an essential part of effecting positive structural and systemic change to improve educational and health outcomes for all.
The historic and ongoing crisis of underrepresentation of MOC in the health professions has urgent ramifications, and it calls for intentional collaborative efforts to address it by the healthcare professions, their partners and stakeholders, in partnership with the communities they serve.