HHS Grants Seek To Encourage Health Care Workforce Diversity

The Washington Post: "It is a sign of the economic times: Nursing students at Howard University work part-time jobs and still cannot keep up with tuition. … At the start of the month, the game changed. Howard received $1.5 million from the Obama administration to train student nurses and others in sciences such as radiology and occupational therapy. The award was a fraction of $96 million in grants doled out by the Department of Health and Human Services on July 1 to hundreds of health-profession programs at colleges and universities nationwide. The money is especially intended to increase the racial diversity of the health-care workforce by keeping minority students in health classes, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. Reports have estimated that the average nursing student leaves school with nearly $50,000 in loan debt" (Fears, 7/13).

The Los Angeles Times examines efforts to determine the veracity of medical students' applications for residencies: "The first published report on the credibility of physician applications was published in 1995. That landmark paper — in the Annals of Internal Medicine — focused on doctors applying to the University of Pittsburgh's gastroenterology fellowship program, a highly competitive medical specialty. It revealed that 30.2% of doctors who said they had authored or co-authored studies in medical journals were involved in 'misrepresentation' of some kind. … In the 15 years since, the study has been repeated at least 17 times for fields including radiation oncology, orthopedics, emergency medicine, pediatrics, radiology, psychiatry and neurosurgery. In one study, the misrepresentation rate was only 1.8%; in another it was 100%" (Kaplan, 7/13).

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