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Opinions Editorial Paper, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 595

Essay

This piece is in response to a new article in The Journal of Human Resources, called “The Educational Pipeline for Health Care Professionals. Health care is understandably a hot topic in the United States. It’s difficult to watch television, read a newspaper, listen to the radio, or even browse the internet without being exposed to something about health care. While insurance coverage reform is probably the most popular argument, there are many concerning aspects of the health care system that deserve to be addressed. One of these problems comes from another common subject of debate in American history: African-American equality. The recently published article shows that there are far fewer blacks working in the health care industry than would be expected when considering enrollments in other forms of education. This shortage isn’t just an equality problem (though the African-American population could certainly benefit from the insights of health workers with the same cultural background), as it could also lead to understaffing issues that could otherwise be prevented.

It is easy to theorize about why this difference exists, but brainstorming can only take you so far. This is where scientific evidence can be helpful, if it weren’t for the alien-like language that is commonly used in academic journals and other places where research might be published. I’ve always been baffled by the inability of academics to make information accessible to the entire reading population, instead of just those who can figure out the code (which also usually involves spending tens of thousands of dollars on tuition). I suppose that’s another topic for another time, but it doesn’t help anyone, and it acts as a bit of a barrier in this discussion because I can’t expect someone to simply find and read the article that I referenced. That wouldn’t be a big deal if this was the only piece of evidence of the racial imbalance in the health care industry, but there are many articles related to the topic. Instead of being able to list them all for you to judge for yourself, I have to concentrate on only one experiment (and I have to use a paragraph to explain why).

The researchers who authored this article used existing government education information and complicated math to come to the conclusion that there is indeed a “significant” (statistics term meaning that it’s highly unlikely for the results to be due to chance) lack of African-Americans in the health care professions. They also tested a number of potential influences that could explain why this issue exists. Making judgements from even more math, they suggest that the problem may actually be the result of a continuing resistance to the hiring of African-Americans by those already within the health professions. The biggest support for this theory comes from the finding that there hasn’t been an increase in the hiring of blacks in the medical system over the last thirty years, while the white employee base as seen consistent growth.

Is there still major equality problems in the United States for African-Americans? Certainly, but this is a concept that is often lost on today’s more diverse population. Many major barriers have been overcome for this group throughout American history. Still, unfair challenges exist that not only harm the black community, but also weakens practically every part of industry and education by underutilizing human resources. The health care industry is a powerful example of these problems. The article discussed here provides evidence that the system has yet to adapt to the concept of equal opportunity, and everyone is likely to suffer until it does so.

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