The United States government website The.gov is an official source of information. It is important to be aware of this before sharing any sensitive information. The National Library of Medicine, located in Bethesda, MD, has conducted a study that reveals a significant income gap between Caucasian and African American male physicians. This disparity is likely due to wage discrimination and unequal access to career opportunities.
The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and used a database of 30 million profiles to estimate the demographics and statistics of physicians in the United States. The results showed that the proportion of black doctors has only increased by 4 percentage points in the last 120 years, and that the proportion of black male doctors has remained unchanged since 1940. The four historically black medical schools in the country enroll a disproportionate number of black medical students.
In 1940, when 9.7% of the total population was African American, 2.8% of doctors were black, 2.7% were black men and 0.1% were black women. The sample included about 150,000 doctors, including about 3,300 black doctors and 1,600 black male physicians. It is believed that increasing exposure to role models and medicine as a profession at an early age could increase the number of African American doctors.
Research conducted in 1900 revealed that 11.6% of the nation's population was black, while only 1.3% of doctors were black. The students involved in the study stated that increasing the number of African American doctors would improve communication and patient-physician relationships, as well as increase the number of African Americans who become doctors if there was greater exposure to medicine in schools, more guidance at a younger age, and more role models.
The Flexner Report from the early 20th century had a disproportionate impact on medical schools with mostly black medical students. In 1940, when 9.7% of the total population was African American, 2.8% of doctors were black, 2.7% were black men and 0.1% were black women.
Dr. Dan Ly, assistant professor of medicine at the National Library of Medicine, noted that increasing class sizes by just one or two underrepresented minority students would open up a steady stream of new black doctors.