Blacks, Hispanics and American Indians make up almost a quarter of the U.S. population, yet as a group account for only 6 percent of physicians, 9 percent of nurses and 5 percent of dentists.
According to the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce, the lagging rate of minorities in the health profession places the health of the nation — and particularly the health of people of color — at risk. A report from the Institute of Medicine recommended increasing the number of minority professionals as a means of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities prevalent among minorities, who lag behind whites on health indicators such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS (2).
One way of increasing the numbers of minority healthcare workers is to have active professional organizations which reach out to attract potential candidates. In addition, healthcare associations provide support, professional development, and job placement activities for existing members.
Here are a few professional organizations for minority healthcare workers:
National Medical Association
The National Medical Association (www.nmanet.org) promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent. It sets high standards in medical education and practice, helps eliminate racial discrimination in American medical institutions, and advances public education on health issues.
National Dental Association
The National Dentist Association (www.ndaonline.org) is designed to promote the professional development of black dentists, support comprehensive health care programs for the minority community, and establish a professional presence at legislative levels responsible for discussions on health care delivery.
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
The National Hispanic Medical Association (www.nhmamd.org) is a non-profit association representing the interests of 50,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States and addresses the interests and concerns of licensed physicians and full-time Hispanic medical faculty.
The Hispanic Doctors’ & Chiropractic Association
The Hispanic Doctors & Chiropractic Association (http://www.hispanicphysician.com/) represents the political, clinical, Chiropractic and economic interests of the medical profession
African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and Filipinos comprise roughly 10% of the overall nursing population. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics , estimates are that this trend will continue and projects that there will be 20.5 million new health care jobs by 2020, creating even more room for growth (1).
National Association of Hispanic Nurses
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (www.nahnnet.org) is a non-profit professional association committed to the promotion of the professionalism and dedication of Hispanic nurses by providing equal access to educational, professional, and economic opportunities for Hispanic nurses.
Minority Nurse Magazine
Minority Nurse Magazine is a print magazine dedicated to meeting the needs of minorities in the nursing profession. It is also the inspiration for its website, MinorityNurse.com, which bills itself as the leading career resource for nurses and the largest dedicated diversity nursing jobs board. The website also provides a wide range of free career articles, advice and information for nurses and run a CV database for jobseekers.
National Black Nurses Association, Inc.
The National Black Nurses Association (www.nbna.org) is an association tasked with recruiting for the nursing field, operates as a job bank, publishes a quarterly newsletter, functions as a resource for federal agencies to gather information concerning health care, and monitors federal legislation with a special focus on minorities.
Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association
The Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association (www.aapina.org) provides mentors, professional development information and online membership directory.
Other Healthcare Workers
National Pharmaceutical Association
The National Pharmaceutical Association (www.npha.net) is a not-for-profit organization that provides minority pharmacists with a viable means to contribute to their common improvement as well as to the public good.