Few New Jersey Physicians Are Minorities

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New Jersey Physicians

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The West Patterson Herald Newson Tuesday examined the low proportion of physicians in New Jersey whoare minorities. According to a study by the Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy,which used 2002 Census data, 75% of New Jersey physicians are white,while 15% are Hispanic, fewer than 3% are black and 2% are Asian.

Blacks in particular are less likely than other groups to apply to and matriculate from medical school, according to the Herald News. In 2006, blacks represented 7% of medical school graduates nationwide, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. In addition, about 800 black women entered medical schools in 2006, nearly double the number of black men.

While there is no definite answer to explain the shortage of black doctors in particular, the Herald Newspoints to factors including inequalities in education and poverty.Lower numbers of minority physicians can result in fewer providersworking in minority communities and the potential for barriers indoctor-patient communication, the Herald News reports (Querna, West Patterson Herald News, 7/31).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserWeekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives,and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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