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Addressing the Shortage of African-American Doctors in the United States

WHEREAS, implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act has highlighted the existence of "medical deserts" within inner cities and rural areas; and

WHEREAS, there is a shortage of Africa-American doctors in the inner city; and

WHEREAS, it is known that a healthy America requires a diverse pool of medical providers reflective to their communities; and

WHEREAS, in 1978 there were 1,410 Black men who applied to medical degree-granting institutions, of which 542 matriculated, as opposed to 2014, when just 1,337 applied and 515 matriculated; and

WHEREAS, according to a recent report issued by the Association of American Medical Colleges in conjunction with the National Medical Association entitled "Altering the Course: Black Males in Medicine," the number of Black male applications to medical school has not increased since 1978, and the number of Black female applicants has remained low and flat; and

WHEREAS, it is projected that by 2025 there will be a shortage of physicians in the United States of 46,000 to 90,000, which will have a profound negative effect on the African-American community; and

WHEREAS, in 2016 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) approved the resolution "Critical Shortage of Primary Care Doctors in America" but also recognizes the detrimental impact of current scoring practices for medical school testing on African Americans' admission to medical school; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP demands that all medical schools, state governors, and Black caucuses of all state legislatures take definitive steps to double by 2025 the percentage of African Americans entering medical school in their respective states. These steps shall include: 1) pipeline programs for junior and senior high schools, 2) pre-medical programs in colleges (all HBCUs and all land grant colleges), and 3) revisions in entrance recruitment, interviewing, testing and scoring to meet culturally-appropriate standards.