Lloyd Dean and Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D.: The Need for Diversity in Healthcare

January 18, 2021
Samara Rosenfeld

Two experts discuss the importance of diversity when educating and training healthcare workers.

There is a lack of diversity when it comes to physicians in the U.S. In fact, out of the 155 medical schools in the country, the four historically black medical schools have produced more black physicians in the last 10 years than the top 10 medical schools, Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., president of Morehouse School of Medicine, said in a recent interview with Managed Healthcare Executive®.

In the interview, Rice and Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health, a 142-hospital chain headquartered in Chicago, discussed the importance of having African American clinicians in the U.S.

Related: Lloyd Dean and Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D.: Partnership to Increase Diversity in Healthcare

With COVID-19, African Americans have experienced a disproportional number of deaths and positive cases resulting in hospitalizations.

“And at the core of that problem has been the lack of adequate black and African American physicians and clinicians of color,” Dean said.

As one looks at the physician-patient relationship, if a patient feels comfortable and knows they are dealing with a physician who understands them, the patient is more likely to access the system. Communities of color must align with their physicians, Dean added, to have better outcomes.