Where are the Black men in osteopathic medical schools?

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Journal of Osteopathic Medicine


Over the past decade, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have emphasized the need to enhance diversity within medical education. Despite concerted efforts, the representation of underrepresented populations in medicine (URiM), particularly Black men, remains alarmingly low. This commentary delves into the persisting challenges and potential solutions surrounding the lack of diversity of Black men in osteopathic schools. Black men, in particular, continue to be significantly underrepresented in osteopathic medical schools across the United States. Factors contributing to this disparity include limited access to resources, pervasive negative stereotypes, and biases within the medical community. Addressing these challenges necessitates multifaceted interventions such as mentorship programs, pipeline initiatives, and implicit bias training to enhance the recruitment and support for URiM applicants, particularly Black men. Institutions like Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and A.T. Still University have underscored the importance of tailoring programs in fostering a sense of belonging and academic success among Black men aspiring to be osteopathic physicians. The creation of a supportive environment for Black men in osteopathic medical schools is not only crucial for promoting diversity but also crucial for improving patient health outcomes, because research consistently depicts enhanced patient outcomes and experiences with diverse healthcare teams. However, despite progress in some areas, Black men continue to face systemic barriers and biases that hinder the pursuit of a career in osteopathic medicine. Thus, increasing the representation of Black men in osteopathic medical schools requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, including medical institutions, policymakers, and the broader medical community. By implementing targeted interventions, fostering a sense of belonging, and addressing systemic barriers, the medical community can work toward a more equitable and inclusive future in healthcare. Ultimately, promoting diversity is not only a matter of fairness but also essential for ensuring the delivery of high-quality, culturally competent care to all patients.



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