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Research Letter |

Minority Physicians’ Role in the Care of Underserved Patients:  Diversifying the Physician Workforce May Be Key in Addressing Health Disparities

Lyndonna M. Marrast, MD1; Leah Zallman, MD, MPH2; Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH3; David H. Bor, MD1; Danny McCormick, MD, MPH1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
2Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, Massachusetts
3City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, New York
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(2):289-291. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12756.
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Disparities in access to care persist despite efforts to improve care for underserved patients: racial and ethnic minorities, the uninsured, the poor, Medicaid recipients, and non-English speakers.1 A shortage of physicians practicing in communities where disadvantaged patients live is a major contributor.2

Minority and non–English-speaking populations in the United States have grown markedly during the past 2 decades,3 and minorities may be a majority by 2050. While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will expand insurance coverage for low-income, uninsured individuals, concern remains about the supply of physicians to care for these newly insured populations.

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