The number, characteristics, and skills of individuals in the health professions have profound implications for efforts to reduce health disparities. It is particularly important to increase the number of health professionals who are themselves from minority groups. It is also important for all health professionals, both from minority and non-minority groups, to learn how to address health disparities through patient care, research, and/or teaching. We propose a comprehensive, coordinated, and collaborative program of recruitment, education, and retention designed to expand the workforce of health providers, researchers, and faculty working to reduce health disparities.
Our specific aims are: A) To effectively recruit and retain students, particularly those from minority backgrounds, into undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral educational programs related to health disparities;B) To provide diverse educational and service learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students emphasizing knowledge and skills in both practice and research to reduce health disparities;C) To identify, recruit, and support junior faculty, particularly those from under represented groups, whose research and teaching in biomedical and behavioral/social research can contribute to reducing health disparities;and D) To develop and institutionalize support structures throughout the partnering institutions to ensure the sustainability of this initiative. Formative and summative evaluation strategies will be used to ensure successful accomplishment of these aims. The coordinated resources created through this Research Training and Education Core will help develop the next generation of health providers, researchers, and faculty who will lead efforts to improve the health of minority and underserved individuals and communities.
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