Adams also noted that, in part, the NMA owes its very existence to racial inequities that forced black doctors to form their own organization.
The NMA, which was founded in 1895 and today has more than 30,000 members, called on the AMA to work with it to actively recruit more African-Americans into the medical profession, commit to reducing healthcare disparities among African-Americans, and ensure that cultural competency training be made a part of medical school curriculum and medical licensing requirements.
We support those recommendations wholeheartedly, said AMA Immediate Past President Ronald Davis in an interview.
Davis cited the AMAs role in partnering with the NMA and National Hispanic Medical Association to form the Commission to End Health Care Disparities. Regarding the recruitment of more African-Americans into the healthcare field, Davis noted that the AMA gave out 11 $10,000 scholarships to minority medical students in 2007 and 12 $10,000 scholarships in 2008.
In the NMA news release, Nedra Joyner, chair of the NMA board of trustees, also noted that African-Americans disproportionately suffer from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, and so that the issuance of the AMA apology should be used as an opportunity to correct these disparities.
We have apologized for the wrongs that have been uncovered and we want to heal and strengthen our relationship with African-American physicians and the organizations that represent them, and work toward a future where there is no prejudice in healthcare and we have as much diversity in healthcare as we do in the general population, he said. -- by Andis Robeznieks
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