A Shared Commitment to Ending Disparities in Care

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A Shared Commitment to Ending Disparities
in Care
Willarda V. Edwards, MD, MBA; J. James Rohack, MD

                                                                               his fellow man drown while railing our opposition to
    Keywords: health disparities n National Medical                            drowning.
    Association                                                                   The areas outlined where we must make progress to
                                                                               eliminate disparities in care are:
    J Natl Med Assoc. 2009;101:623-624
                                                                               • increase the health care professional pipeline
Author Affiliation: Private practice, Baltimore Maryland (Dr Edwards); Amer-
ican Medical Association, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Rochak).
                                                                                 in the minority community and increase the
Corresponding Author: Willarda V Edwards, MD, MBA, 1005 N Point Blvd, Ste        number of minorities on the residency boards
724, Baltimore MD 21224 (wvedwards@comcast.net).                                 and commissions that can assist with broadening
                                                                                 the number of minorities in subspecialty training

        f all the forms of inequality, injustice in health                       programs.
        care is the most shocking and inhumane. Martin                         • increase the level of cultural competency and
        Luther King Jr spoke those words 43 years ago,                           linguistically appropriate outreach and training
and they still ring true today. As physicians, and as leaders                    among medical students, doctors in training, and
of the American Medical Association (AMA) and Nation-                            practicing physicians on an ongoing basis.
al Medical Association (NMA), we are united in our com-                        • commit to reduce health disparities among African
mitment to end disparities in health care that are based on                      Americans and other communities of color.
race, gender, ethnic origin, age, or sexual orientation.
    We believe that by working together we can begin to                           As noted abolitionist Martin Delaney wrote in 1852,
eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health c
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