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Racial Diversity Among American Cardiologists: Implications for the Past, Present, and Future.

Johnson AE, Talabi MB, Bonifacino E, Culyba AJ, Davis EM, Davis PK, De Castro LM, Essien UR, Maria Gonzaga A, Hogan MV, James AJ, Jonassaint CR, Jonassaint NL, Matheo L, Nance MA, NapoƩ GS, Olafiranye O, Owusu-Ansah S, Pierson-Brown TN, Conrad Smith AJ, Suber TL, Torres O, Tripp R, Ufomata E, Wilson JD, South-Paul JE. Racial Diversity Among American Cardiologists: Implications for the Past, Present, and Future. Circulation. 2021 Jun 15; 143(24):2395-2405.

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In the United States, race-based disparities in cardiovascular disease care have proven to be pervasive, deadly, and expensive. African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native/Indigenous American individuals are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and are less likely to receive high-quality, evidence-based medical care as compared with their White American counterparts. Although the United States population is diverse, the cardiovascular workforce that provides its much-needed care lacks diversity. The available data show that care provided by physicians from racially diverse backgrounds is associated with better quality, both for minoritized patients and for majority patients. Not only is cardiovascular workforce diversity associated with improvements in health care quality, but racial diversity among academic teams and research scientists is linked with research quality. We outline documented barriers to achieving workforce diversity and suggest evidence-based strategies to overcome these barriers. Key strategies to enhance racial diversity in cardiology include improving recruitment and retention of racially diverse members of the cardiology workforce and focusing on cardiovascular health equity for patients. This review draws attention to academic institutions, but the implications should be considered relevant for nonacademic and community settings as well.

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