Black History Month: Diversity in Healthcare

Feb 15, 2023

Black History Month

Black History Month is a time to celebrate black American history and culture, but it is also a time to acknowledge the inequalities that black Americans face. Achieving inclusivity and equity is ongoing, and bringing awareness to societal gaps that minorities face is essential in all parts of life. One clear place where the gaps need to be addressed is within healthcare.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, only 5% of physicians identify as black or African-American, even though 13% of the U.S. population identifies as black or African-American. While this statistic only speaks to physicians overall, the healthcare industry has disparities among several job titles and leadership levels. These discrepancies are impactful in many ways.

Having a diverse workforce isn’t just ethical; there are many benefits stemming from a diverse staff.

Employee Morale

Employees are happier when they feel a sense of community with their coworkers. Diversity fosters a sense of culture and identity among employees, leading to more meaningful relationships and increased opportunities to learn from one another. This also leads to increased employee retention and satisfaction, which is key considering the ongoing healthcare hiring crisis.

Better Patient Care

Culture, language, and ethnicity can create barriers to effective patient care. Patients are potentially better served by staff members who can communicate effectively with them, or understand different belief systems. Identification increases levels of patient trust in healthcare providers.


Innovation is born from differing life experiences, cultural backgrounds, and varying skills. Diversity ensures a broader scope of perspectives, leading to fresh, new ideas, and in emergency and non-emergency situations, diverse ideas and experiences can be life-saving.

As an added bonus…Financial

There is a positive correlation between diversity among the executive team and financial performance. Ethnic and culturally diverse companies are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

What happens when healthcare lacks diversity?

The healthcare industry relies on different perspectives. From the clinical team to administrative staff, diversity assists in problem-solving and communication. An individual’s background might align them with a specific diagnosis or a patient’s socioeconomic factors. Diversity can help alleviate health disparities overall, improving care among all patient populations.

There’s also implicit bias. As the name itself suggests, implicit biases are automatic and unintentional. This type of bias is unconscious but is still harmful to marginalized groups. Healthcare workers at any level need to pay attention and override these biases.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging training is a way to nurture inclusion and equity among current staff. DEIB training increases cultural awareness and sheds light on potential cultural barriers in patient care. Training isn’t the only step organizations can take to increase cultural competency, but it’s a good start.

Diversity gaps won’t be filled by the end of Black History Month, but it is a good reminder of why we celebrate and advocate for minority voices. Companies that take pride in furthering diversity and inclusion can help pave the way for a new, more diverse workforce and reap the benefits that come along with that.

About TREND Health Partners

TREND Health Partners believes that diversity is a cornerstone of healthcare. Regardless of background, identity, or any other identity and status, everyone deserves to have their voice heard and be respected. We take pride in creating an inclusive environment for our team members and showcasing inclusivity in our work. We believe access to quality healthcare is essential to everyone, and healthcare thrives with a diverse employee pool.

TREND puts this into practice by working to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Our employees voted us as a certified Great Place to Work®, and we work to build a workplace where all voices are heard. If you’re interested in joining the TREND Health Partners team, please visit our careers page.