AAMC: We need to 'bridge the inequality chasm'

The Association of American Medical Colleges Board Chair Peter Slavin, MD, and AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, MD, in two separate addresses called on the nation's medical schools and teaching hospitals to address healthcare inequalities.

"Equity has too often been overlooked or politicized, instead of being treated as a defining test of whether we're meeting our responsibility to deliver quality care to everyone who needs it," Dr. Slavin said at the 126th annual AAMC meeting, according to a news release. "The simple truth is that we cannot achieve quality without addressing inequality."

Dr. Slavin said healthcare providers need to take a closer look at the disparities between treatment and outcomes between white and minority populations and ask themselves how they can address inherent biases and better target inequality. He also called for more diversity in medical schools.

Dr. Kirch stressed we address these inequalities, especially in light of the violence and unrest the nation has seen in the past year related to racial and social inequalities.

"[Patients] already have missed opportunities for prevention, early intervention and promotion of good health," Dr. Kirch said, according to a news release. Health disparities due to inequality touch people with mental illness, correctional populations, the LGBT community and members of the military and veterans, he added.

As politics ramp up in the coming year, Dr. Kirch said, it will be even more critical to focus on these inequalities.


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