APA Executive Director for Public Interest Henry Tomes, PhD, pledged APA's support of affirmative action in training health professionals at a March 19 Capitol Hill briefing on "Affirmative action in health professions training and its impact on health care," sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Tomes urged policy-makers to increase diversity in education by expanding federal support for graduate and postgraduate health professions training. More diversity, he noted, will lead to the more culturally competent health care that is needed to serve the nation's growing ethnic-minority population.
"By 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 47 percent of all Americans will be African American, Latino, Asian or Native American," he said. "The need to deliver appropriate care to this burgeoning population presents a major challenge to our nation's health-care institutions and professions."
Tomes also highlighted APA's long-standing commitment to affirmative action, noting that the association has supported diversity in training through its 27-year-old Minority Fellowship Program and recently filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the University of Michigan's affirmative action policies in undergraduate and graduate education (see page 58).