Sources Cited

Why is there a need for the DDS Program and Symposium? Read the various source excerpts below to find out why.

Summary of Minority Shortages in Healthcare from Various Sources

According the American Dental Association’s website (, “there is a critical need in many underserved communities where minority and disadvantaged people are not getting the care they need. Only 12 percent of students entering dental school are minorities, while minorities make up 25 percent of the general population. Recent data shows that minority dentists treat a very high number of minority patients. More underrepresented minority dentists (African American, Hispanic and American Indian) are necessary to eliminate the barriers to oral care. This need is expected to increase as statistics indicate that 58 percent of the population will be comprised of underrepresented groups by the year 2050.”

An article written on January 29, 2010 by Medical New Today states the following:
Although the number of minorities in the medical profession has risen in recent years, decades of discrimination still leaves them drastically underrepresented in the field, as chronicled in new report appearing in the February issue of the journal Academic Medicine.

The U.S. Surgeon General says mentoring is one solution.

“There is no doubt that much progress has been made in the past 100 years with regard to minorities’ representation in the medical profession,” said report co-author IIana Suez Mittman, Ph.D. “Unlike the turn of the twentieth century, currently there is heightened awareness to issues of injustice and inequity, where discrimination is unlawful and minorities are able to attend any medical school of their choosing.”

In 2008, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans made up more than a third of the U.S. population but only 8.7 percent of physicians and 15 percent of enrollment in medical schools.

There are sixteen colleges of optometry in the United States, one in Puerto Rico and two in Canada; each year, they admit 1400 new students; 2226 applicants submitted a total of 5599 applications to the colleges for the first year positions in 2004. Sixty percent of the students currently enrolled in optometry schools are women; approximately 28% of practicing optometrists are female. African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans are underrepresented in optometry.

Ten percent of the students currently enrolled in optometry schools are minorities; nearly 13% of optometrists 25 to 40 years old are members of minority groups, compared to 6% of those aged 41 to 50 and only 4% of optometrists over age 50.

According to an article written by Dr. Barbara Hayes, former chair of the Council of Deans for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, “pharmacy is experiencing many of the same challenges faced by dentistry, medicine, and nursing in increasing representation of minority students in their professional programs. These challenges include the level of K-12 educational preparation of minority students for college work, including inadequate science education; inadequate numbers of faculty members from minority groups to advise, teach and mentor underrepresented minority students; increasing costs of higher education and declining levels of financial aid; lower performance on admission tests; an over reliance on standardized testing in the admissions process3; unsupportive institutional cultures3; lack of sufficient funding for student support services; and lack of administrative leadership to guide the development and implementation of sustainable programs to address recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented minority students. There are some emerging issues in pharmacy education that have the potential to negatively impact future enrollment of underrepresented minority students. These issues include increasing the number of hours of pharmacy prerequisites and making the baccalaureate degree a requirement for admission to the PharmD program.”

According to the AACP’s Profile of Pharmacy Students, underrepresented minority candidates submitted 12.6% of pharmacy applications in 2003-2004 (Black, 8.4%; Hispanic, 3.7% and American Indian, 0.5%)4; 11.2% in 2004-2005 (Black, 6.9%; Hispanic, 3.9%; and American Indian, 0.4%) 5; and 13.3% in 2005-2006 (Black 8.9%, Hispanic 3.9% and American Indian 0.5%). 2 There are some limitations to the interpretation of these data due to colleges and schools reporting applicants that had applied to multiple colleges or schools. This impacted our ability to accurately assess the size and composition of the applicant pool.

Veterinary Medicine
An article listed on the American Veterinary Medical Association states on an article on its site that “the U.S. veterinary profession is facing critical workforce issues that will heavily influence the role of veterinary medicine in society.

The numbers are telling. Data indicate fewer men are choosing jobs in veterinary medicine; most veterinary graduates are forgoing food animal medicine and nontraditional career fields such as biomedical research to work as companion animal practitioners; and minority veterinarians remain a small part of a profession that’s looking less and less like the society it serves.

In short, the veterinary profession is on track to becoming a mostly female profession that has limited itself to a narrow scope of service.”

It’s time that we be a part of the solution!