A Recent Study Finds That Diversity Efforts Need to Target Medical Debt

Black medical trainees were far more likely to carry a heavier debt burden than their peers in other racial and ethnic groups, a study published yesterday in Health Affairs found. Differences In Debt Among Postgraduate Medical Residents By Self-Designated Race And Ethnicity, 2014–19 finds that efforts to diversify the healthcare workforce — which has been tied to improved patient care and outcomes — have fallen short, even as recognition of the merits grows. Among the most intractable hurdles are the costs of medical school, including the add-on expenses. The study was led by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and researchers examined the association between race and debt among roughly 121,000 medical residents between 2014 and 2019. “Scholarships, debt relief, and financial guidance should be explored to improve diversity and inclusion in medicine across specialties,” the authors write.