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Hispanic Physician Outreach Initiative

At less than 3 percent of US physicians, Hispanic physicians are significantly underrepresented in the profession. Consequently, they often face unique challenges in the delivery of health care to their patients and frequently serve as the first line in providing care to Hispanic patients, an emerging majority of the US population. This underscores the important role that Hispanic physicians must play in shaping health policy and advocacy affecting their patients and the profession.

The Hispanic Physician Outreach Initiative (HPOI) is one way that the AMA is addressing these needs.

The program was launched in 2006 by the American Medical Association (AMA) through its Minority Affairs Section (MAS). The goal of the HPOI is to increase the participation and leadership of Hispanic physicians in the AMA, strengthen advocacy efforts on Hispanic health care issues, and identify and address the professional needs of our Hispanic physician members.

The HPOI hosted a Hispanic Physician Leadership Seminar October 3-5, 2008, in Washington, D.C. This seminar provided Hispanic physicians with strategies and practical tools for effective political involvement and leadership. The theme of the seminar was "The Importance of Political Involvement."

  • Commitment to improving minority health status
  • Commitment to increasing diverse workforce
  • Leadership Experience/Community Involvement
  • Demonstrated Potential to Become a Leader in Advocacy Campaigns
  • Demonstrated Potential to Emerge as a Leader Within the AMA and MAS

The selected participants of the 2008 Hispanic Physician Leadership Seminar were:

  • Roberto Echeverri, MD
  • Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, FACP
  • Nestor Ramirez-Lopez, MD, MPH
  • Ralph Herrera, MD
  • Arturo Hernandez, MD
  • Ralph Nobo, MD
  • Fernando Raudales, MD
  • Roberto San Martin, MD, MS, FACS

About the Hispanic Physician Outreach Initiative

The Hispanic Physician Outreach Initiative (HPOI) was developed as a venue for Hispanic physicians to meet in small groups to discuss and exchange ideas about the AMA-MAS agenda and discuss strategies for increasing the voice of Hispanic physicians in organized medicine. Meetings have taken place at the community level at selected states from around the country.


The AMA is committed to increasing the number of minority physicians in leadership positions in the AMA and throughout organized medicine. Hispanic physicians represent an important voice in shaping health policy affecting patients and the profession. However, they are significantly underrepresented in medicine. While only 4 percent of US physicians are Hispanic, this minority group represents the largest ethnic minority patient population in the US, at over 12 percent. Hispanic physicians face unique challenges in the delivery of health care including their disproportionate role in meeting the health needs of the growing number of Hispanic patients.

The HPOI is guided by a steering committee comprised of MAS members and national leaders. Events have focused on community level "round table" meetings aimed at encouraging and assisting Hispanic physicians to become leaders in organized medicine and engaging them in national advocacy efforts on issues affecting Hispanic physicians and patients through participation in the MAS and AMA.

Becoming involved

While we do not have immediate plans for an upcoming summit, the AMA continues to seek Hispanic physician leaders within organized medicine who can help increase this voice in the AMA policymaking and advocacy arenas. If you are a Hispanic physician interested in taking part in upcoming events or activities related to the Hispanic Physician Outreach Initiative send an e-mail to mas@ama-assn.org and let us know.

For information contact

Cynthia Norwood, Program Administrator
American Medical Association
515 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 464-4743