The Diversifying the Physician Workforce Grant Program (DPW Grant) was created and funded by the NAPCA Foundation to address the nation’s continuing need for a diverse physician workforce, to reduce our nation’s physician shortage, and to increase the number of physicians from groups that have been historically underrepresented in medicine.
The mission of the DPW partnership grant program is to diversify the future physician and healthcare workforce by building a strong pipeline of future medical doctors and scientists, as early as the 4th grade, who are prepared to succeed in pre-med or pre-health university coursework, medical school and beyond.
This mission is directed toward a single, overarching “big goal”, also known as Goal 2035, which is to increase the percentage of U.S. doctors and scientists who are underrepresented in the physician and healthcare workforce from the current rate of 11% to 20% by the year 2035.
To achieve Goal 2035, the DPW partnership grant program uses a partnership model, which encourages the Medical Physician Preparation Academy (MPP Academy), an early outreach medical school preparation pipeline program, and a network of higher education partners (regionally accredited medical schools and four-year universities across the U.S.) to work together to build a diverse pipeline of future medical doctors and scientists, as early as 4th grade, for the physician and healthcare workforce that is more representative of the U.S. population.
We acknowledge that Goal 2035 is an audacious goal. Still, our work suggests that meeting this goal is essential to the health of our country, as a diverse physician and healthcare workforce is better equipped to address the myriad health disparities as well as to change the systemic racial inequities that exist in our healthcare system.
Specifically, the Association of American Medical Colleges projects the U.S. will see a physician shortage of nearly 122,000 doctors from 2018-2033 (AAMC). Only 11% of U.S. medical doctors come from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds although they represent nearly 40% of racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. population currently (AAMC, 2022; U.S. Census Bureau, 2020).
In addition, studies show that racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among medical and health professionals promotes better access to health care, improves health care quality for underserved populations, and better meets the health care needs of our increasingly diverse population. Yet, our physician and healthcare workforce does not adequately reflect the actual racial, ethnic, or gender makeup of the U.S. population. Therefore, the DPW partnership grant program is committed to building a diverse pipeline of future medical doctors and scientists, as early as 4th grade, for the physician and healthcare workforce that is more representative of the U.S. population.
We believe that Goal 2035 is attainable if:
- Students are prepared academically, financially, and socially for success in pre-med or pre-health coursework and medical school education.
- Medical schools strengthen their investment in early outreach pipeline programs to create diverse applicant pools and increase the number of students underrepresented in medicine who are prepared to enter and graduate from medical school.
- Medical school matriculation and completion rates improve significantly for underrepresented students in medicine.
- Medical schools expand their capacity to serve more students and support creation of alternative delivery systems for medical school education.
Change of this magnitude will only be possible with the active engagement and support of many organizations and individuals. That is why the MPP Academy and the NAPCA Foundation is eager to partner with leaders in the medical community, medical schools, colleges and universities, state and federal governments, businesses and labor, philanthropists, and others committed to making Goal 2035 a reality.
The NAPCA Foundation’s DPW Grant Partnership Grant Program, in accordance with applicable federal and state law, does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected basis.