Report: More Minorities Studying Public Health

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More Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders are getting a degree in public health.

U.S. News and World Report
By Delece Smith-Barrow
December 8, 2014

The health care workforce in the U.S. looks significantly different from many of its patients.

About 4 percent of doctors are African-American, even though African-Americans make up 13 percent of the population, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. And while Hispanics were 16.3 percent of the population in 2010, about 5.4​ ​percent were dentists, according to the Hispanic Dental Association. ​The number of minorities are also low in nursing and other health fields.

But when it comes to the number of minorities in public health, a career that includes jobs for teaching about health care and building healthy communities, minorities are growing strong in​ numbers.

The percentage of Asian and Pacific Islanders receiving a bachelor’s degree ​in public health increased from 5 to 12 percent between 2003 and 2012, according to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. ​There was also a 3 percentage point​ growth among Hispanics between 2003 and 2012.

[Learn which soft skills lead to academic success.]

The number of black graduates actually decreased – from 23 percent in 2003 to 18 percent in 2012 – though African-Americans are still more represented in the public health sector than other health care disciplines…

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