Diversity is seen in every field of life. Doctors in their practice come across a variety of patients belonging to different castes, religions, sexual orientations, races, etc. In India, the entire population is a mix of different origins and beliefs. While providing healthcare to patients, doctors have to be mindful of the culture, language, and beliefs of the patient so that in the process of attending to them, they do not offend them. To provide the best care possible, health professionals have to ensure the patient is comfortable with them. Only then they will be able to share intimate details regarding their health comfortably with the doctor. Once the facts of the case are fully understood, the treatment is more outcome-based. This enables medical professionals to be more competent.
The fear of discrimination is also experienced among health professionals in terms of underrepresentation of their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. A study by Stanford University revealed that 40% of those students belonging to sexual minorities feared discrimination. It is important for the medical workforce to represent the people they provide care for. A diverse workforce will help doctors to learn from each other, thus expanding their out of the book knowledge. This will ensure that patients can find professionals that resemble them thus encouraging them to seek help. For instance, a Muslim doctor will be more familiar and respectful of the patient declines to be checked by a male doctor. A transgender person will feel more at ease while seeking healthcare if their physician is knowledgeable about their needs. A doctor who knows Spanish will be able to communicate better with a Latino family, eliminating the risk of miscommunication.
Medical professionals should have a diversity of experience and perspective. Doctors have to be open to learning not just in their field of practice but also at their clinic when they are practicing. Diversity in healthcare is about understanding the mindset of a patient and the differences that come with it. The care provided thus has to be customized according to these variants. As an effort to advocate for greater diversity, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) suggests a comprehensive attempt to amend medical school recruitment to make it open to more minorities and candidates from underrepresented communities. Medical schools also should train students to be more sensitive to different cultures, socioeconomic statuses, races, ethnicities, etc and allow them to realize their own prejudice and bias against certain communities. This will bring about a more educated and approachable workforce.