Health Care Careers
Where the jobs are: Career and technical education
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education says that the federal government could "bolster the nation's career- and technical-education system so more people can take advantage of the training." Indeed, career and technical education "holds the promise of well-paying middle-class jobs," with 29 million positions paying anywhere from $35,000 to $75,000 annually.
The article references a new report, "Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay Along the Way to the B.A.," that calls for a nationwide "learning and earning exchange" that "can bring transparency to the relationship between career and technical education and the labor market." In addition, it calls for the creation of specific "career- and technical-educational programs of study that integrate high-school and postsecondary curriculums with employer-based training."
Community colleges play a key role in physician workforce development
A recent blog post on the Wing of Zock site makes the point that community college can be a viable route to a career in medicine.
The author of the post, Norma Poll-Hunter of the Association of American Medical Colleges, describes how she had "submitted a proposal to present a session at a national meeting of community college administrators." The subject was "the importance of diversity in the health professions and how programs like the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), are interested in increasing community college student participation."
Her proposal was rejected because a reviewer said, "The primary audience consists of administrators and faculty of Allied Health and Nursing programs, whose student population is not interested in medicine and dentistry."
Ms. Poll-Hunter writes that she immediately thought, "'Not interested in medicine and dentistry?' How short-sighted!" Read the full post.
New report analyzes diversity of North Carolina's health care workforce
A new report from the North Carolina Health Professions Data System examines race and ethnicity data for licensed health professionals in the state. Some highlights:
- There is an overall lack of diversity among the state's health professionals; one in three (33 percent) state residents is nonwhite compared to 17 percent of health professionals.
- The health professions are diversifying slowly over time and at different rates. From 1994-2009, primary care physicians saw the largest percentage point gain in nonwhite practitioners (14 percentage points) while surgeons (3 percentage points) and dental hygienists (3 percentage points) have seen the smallest gains.
- Primary care is one of the more diverse professions, with 42 percent of nonwhite primary care physicians having graduated from foreign medical schools. By contrast, 63 percent of nonwhite respiratory therapists were educated in the state's community college system.
To access the electronic version of the report and slides, please visit the North Carolina Health Professions Data System (HPDS) website at. Hard copies of the report should be available by the end of September. Contact Katie Gaul at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
Interview initiative reflects minority physicians' inspiration
Only about 9 percent of all U.S. physicians are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Native Hawaiian or Alaskan Native. Meanwhile, almost 30 percent of the patient population are from these racial and ethnic groups.
These data highlight the need to increase the number of underrepresented minority physicians. Through its Physician Interview Project , the AMA is sharing information on how minority physicians were guided in their career paths. The initiative aims to pinpoint specific determinants that have proven critical for minority students pursuing a career in medicine.
View a video of interviews with several minority physicians and see how these doctors are making a difference in their patients' lives. You also can view the entire interview of each participating physician on the Physician Interview Project Web page.
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