Video Summary: Outcomes of an Intervention to Increase Physicians Underrepresented in Medicine in Occupational Medicine Training

Diversity in the US physician workforce is important. Physicians Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM) are more likely to serve poor, uninsured, and vulnerable populations. In a new article in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Dr. Judith Green-McKenzie and colleagues describe outcomes of an intervention aimed at increasing the number of UIM physicians in Occupational Medicine.

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The program developed an Inclusion and Diversity Committee, consisting of the program director, trainees, and graduates, which was created with the goal of recruiting and developing UIM residents and increasing Occupational and Environmental Medicine awareness. Outreach to UIM residents and medical students at local, regional, and national meetings, creation and distribution of descriptive brochures, and supervised 1-day observerships were some of the interventions.

Results of the program showed that only 4 Underrepresented Minorities physicians out of 65 (6%) graduated during the first decade of the program 1997-2007; this increased to (16/70) 23% during the following decade subsequent to establishing the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

A multifaceted strategic approach can help increase UIM physician participation in graduate training programs, helping address health equity.

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Dr. Judith Green-McKenzie

Dr. Judith Green-McKenzie is an Occupational & Environmental Medicine (OEM) physician and epidemiologist. She is Professor, Chief & Residency Director, Division of OEM, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Author of over 100 scientific publications she focuses on OEM outcomes, disability, employee health/wellness, health equity and graduate medical education.