Minority Doctors in Short Supply in State
Stratification and inequality are two things that are not quite uncommon, especially to sociologists. These two things do not happen to only a certain place but throughout the world affecting every individual. Even the medical community experiences ethnic and race inequalities.
Health care workers, especially physicians and doctors, are in demand throughout the world. Their excellent professional services are needed 24 hours a day by patients with different problems. However, problems are being encountered by the medical community, particularly in California, because of the shortage of minority doctors. This shortage is especially felt among African Americans and Latinos but the state is also noting a lack of Asian doctors (Fernandez, 2008). Because a large number of the population consists of minority groups, this shortage is considered as a serious problem. The medical community is also alarmed because these minority groups are those who tend to work with less fortunate patients and in places where physicians are badly needed (Fernandez, 2008).
Doctors of color are needed because they represent their respective groups who are susceptible to certain kinds of diseases or abnormalities. They interact with their patients belonging to their group better than those with other minority groups. As a result, recommendations are being proposed to straighten out the ethnicity gap being experienced by physicians at this time. The recommendations include “investing in the educational pipeline to prepare minority groups and disadvantaged students for careers in medicine and other health professions, promoting diversity as a key part of expanding California medical education, holding health profession schools accountable for an institutional culture and environment that promotes diversity, recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities, and increasing the incentives for physicians to work in underserved communities in California. With these, it is expected that the problem with the shortage of doctors of color will be solved.
Being a doctor, or any kind of health care provider for that matter, is not an easy task. It takes years and numerous examinations to obtain a license and practice in the field. In addition, problems would arise if the person belongs in a minority group. Although it is not obviously seen by the general public, studies recently conducted says otherwise, as the article stated.
These doctors undergo the same things in medical school. All universities and colleges probably teach the basic things about being a doctor. Medical students are required to serve the same amount of time in internships and residencies to become a doctor. The time it takes to graduate is also the same. So how is it that minority groups are far less than majority? Where does the stratification and inequalities start? Are there problems even before students reach medical schools so that only a few members of each minority groups become doctors? More importantly, why is the issue only been addressed at this time?
The United States is mostly populated by white people and consists largely of minority groups ranging from African Americans, Latinos, to Asians. However, this stratification does not matter, especially in the medical field, because all doctors go through the same training. This means that every physician of color can probably do what the majority of doctors can perform in his or her own field. With that being said, stratification should not be an issue to the medical community, or any other community for that matter. As well, educators and the medical field should do something to promote this profession to minorities to be able to solve the impending problem of shortage.
From this information, it can be clearly seen that stratification affects even those who are successful in their own fields. Examples of it can be seen anywhere and everywhere and at times, people go through and experience it without being aware. In areas where life and death are being dealt with every hour of the day, people should not think about inequalities and belonging to a certain group. There are more pressing issues aside from these things that should be addressed and taken care of.
However, stratification and inequality are two things that can not be avoided. Fortunately, there are ways wherein situations resulting from these two things can be solved. People should be more open about things and should not limit themselves to their respective groups because this is when stratification mostly happens. Also, people should not feel that they are superior to others just because of their race, color, gender, or economic status. Minority groups should never feel subordinate to the majority just because they have different skin tones, or speak different languages with accents, or have different physical qualities. All people are capable of the same things no matter how different they can look.
Fernandez, E. (2008, April 3). Minority Doctors in Short Supply in State. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi? file=/c/a/2008/04/03/BAJVVUN1G.DTL