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The Importance of Diversity in Healthcare and How to Promote It

In all aspects of life, humans thrive when they feel seen, heard, and valued. Representation matters, and it is for this reason that diversity is a critical part of meeting peoples’ needs in everything from education to medical care. Diversity refers to the individual aspects that make a person unique and special: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, […]

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In all aspects of life, humans thrive when they feel seen, heard, and valued. Representation matters, and it is for this reason that diversity is a critical part of meeting peoples’ needs in everything from education to medical care. Diversity refers to the individual aspects that make a person unique and special: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, age, gender, language, socioeconomic level, political beliefs, religion, and more. When people encounter diversity, when they see others who are similar to them in a significant manner, they feel more confident and valued in the situation. This naturally leads to a more successful interaction for all involved, which is a positive step in the goal of a more inclusive society.

Diversity in healthcare is critical. When patients are seeking medical attention, it is essential that they see providers who understand and value them, who can help them heal while respecting their individual viewpoints and self-identifications. Walking into a hospital or counseling office and seeing a professional who is part of their group allows individuals to feel comfortable and at ease as they seek care. Equally important is establishing a workplace that values diversity and welcomes medical professionals from many different backgrounds. There are substantial benefits to retaining a diverse group of healthcare providers, including increased worker retention, higher employee morale, better care for various community populations, and better results for helping patients.

Promoting diversity in healthcare takes effort. Fortunately, there are many ways to accomplish this goal. It is important to approach a wide variety of different groups when hiring new employees, such as military veterans or baby boomers, to increase diversity. A diverse hiring committee will help to ensure that all qualified applicants are given equal opportunities. It is also important to have diverse staff at every point in the healthcare experience, from x-ray technicians to psychotherapists to heart surgeons. This helps to ensure that diversity is an engrained part of the healthcare culture, and it normalizes having people of all backgrounds in medical settings. Additionally, all employees can benefit from specialized diversity training so that they can better serve the community they work in.

Diversity in healthcare is central to providing the best care for patients. With determination and compassion, healthcare facilities and providers can increase their diversity and help more people, which is the most important part of healthcare.

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