Health & Medicine as Social Sciences: Minorities and Medicine

Inequities in health

Medical Research

In the past Medical Research has unethically treated minorities in the name of research as seen in the case of Henrietta Lacks and the Tuskegee Study. It is crucial to learn about these scenarios to prevent such events from happening again. 

Griffith et al conducted focus groups consisting of African American, Latinx, and White adults to determine what factors make a a researcher or an institution trustworthy. Resulting from this study were three themes that impacted how the participants determined trustworthiness.

  1. Who is trustworthy to conduct medical research?
  2. What influences trustworthiness in medical research?
  3. What institutions or settings are trustworthy to conduct medical research?

Ultimately, much of the trustworthiness of individuals and institutions was determined by their previous activity in the research community. (Source 3)


Underrepresentation in Medicine

According to the AAMC Diversity in Medicine: Facts and Figures Report for 2019, 56.2% of active Physicians were White and 64.1% were male. When reviewing the youngest cohort of physicians (34 years old or younger) it was seen that "women outnumbered men in most racial and ethnic groups". (Source 1)

Underrepresentation ultimately stems from the experience of students during the Medical School application process. Hadinger (Source 2) identifies struggles students faced when applying in her paper. Barriers and Supports during the application process included a variety of factors such as:

  • Information, guidance, and social support
  • Financial and academic factors, and
  • Persistence

Healthcare and Minority Communities

Skin Color representation in medical education


  • Last Updated: May 21, 2024 8:25 AM
  • URL: