Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on efforts to undermine DEI progress in medicine

Massachusetts Medical Society on efforts to undermine DEI progress in medicine

The Massachusetts Medical Society is unwavering in our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and practices. The physician workforce and health care more broadly are made better by a diverse representation of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Overwhelming evidence shows that racial concordance between physicians and patients leads to better health outcomes; yet, wide disparities in representation persist in medical schools and in the physician workforce. DEI programs in medical schools help to close these inequitable gaps and are vital components in creating environments where students can thrive and become better practicing physicians, leading to better patient care and improved health outcomes.

The Medical Society condemns attempts to eliminate DEI programs, which are more harmful in light of the misguided elimination of affirmative action in college admissions. We advocate for the continuation and expansion of such programs that aim to increase diversity and support physicians and trainees from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. This work is imperative not only to health care and public health, but to society at large. In furtherance of these DEI goals, we are working to eliminate barriers to careers in medicine, to provide support and mentoring to medical students and physician trainees, and to advance the progress toward a more equitable health care system.  These efforts are necessary within the context of the growing national physician workforce shortage which undermines access to care, especially for patients from historically marginalized and underserved communities.

We stand resolute in our support for DEI efforts and programs while acknowledging the challenges in working toward systemic change. While undertaking our own work on this front, the Medical Society stands together in solidarity against any attempts to roll back the progress made and strives to make a difference, ensuring that our future is defined by inclusivity, fairness, and respect for all.

-Barbara S. Spivak, MD, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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