Oral Health Group

Workplace Diversity a Major Problem in Dentistry

December 6, 2016
by Scott Maier, UCSF

Underrepresented minority dentists represent a smaller percentage of the dental workforce and are unevenly distributed in relation to minority populations in the United States, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco and the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Dental Department.

The paper recommends improvements through a longer, deeper and sustained educational pipeline, robust systems of care, and genuine culture of inclusion. It will be released on Dec. 5, 2016, in the December issue of Health Affairs, which contains a dozen studies dedicated to oral health.

“We found a daunting shortage of underrepresented minority dentists, which indicates that the cumulative impact of current policy efforts to increase workforce diversity is woefully inadequate – despite initiatives at the local, state and federal level,” the authors wrote. “Dentists who want to serve high-need communities may be unable to do so, given the current economics of the dental practice environment and the lack of oral health parity.”

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