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Training and retaining of underrepresented minority physician scientists – a hispanic perspective: NICHD-AAP workshop on research in neonatology


In a workshop organized by NICHD and the AAP in January 2004, we addressed and discussed issues related to a Hispanic perspective in Training and Retaining of underrepresented minority physician scientists in the United States. A review of the literature related to training of underrepresented minority physicians in the United States (US) was performed, giving emphasis to those related to the Hispanic population. Success and failure in training and retention of Hispanic physician scientists and trainees was examined. An underrepresentation of Hispanic minorities in medical research workforce was found. This fact has recently resulted in efforts to increase their recruitment and there is a mandate by the National Institute of Health (NIH) for their inclusion. The Hispanic population in the US has increased rapidly, with diversity among the Hispanics in their personal and professional behavior. Significant disparities in health, health risk factors and access to health care manifested by an increased burden of illness and death have been documented. There in an undersupply of academic Hispanic neonatologist. Factors such as availability of academic employment, limited research funding in pediatrics, managed care and large debt burden of the US medical graduates interfere with recruitment of Hispanic trainees and academic physician scientist. Possible solutions, including recognition research awards, revision of NIH policies in awarding funds for neonatology, establishing strategies to improve minorities' acceptance, participation in research and increase accrual of Hispanic population in clinical trials should be given priority.

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Correspondence to M Valcarcel.

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This work was presented in the NICHD-AAP Workshop on Research in Neonatology in January 2004.

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Valcarcel, M., Diaz, C. & Santiago-Borrero, P. Training and retaining of underrepresented minority physician scientists – a hispanic perspective: NICHD-AAP workshop on research in neonatology. J Perinatol 26 (Suppl 2), S49–S52 (2006).

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