Palliative Care's Diversity Problem: A Podcast with Lindsay Bell, Tessie October, and Riba Kelsey
alliative care has a diversity problem. The workforce of palliative care looks nothing like the patient population that we care for in the hospital and in our clinics. For example, in 2019-2020 academic year only 4% of Hospice and Palliative Care fellows identified as black, compared to 12% of the overall US population using the most recent census information. These issues are similar for hospice and geriatrics.
On today’s podcast we talk about this diversity problem with Lindsay Bell, Tessie October, and Riba Kelsey. Lindsay, Riba, and Tessie recently published an article in JPSM that found that trainees at historically black colleges and universities and residents at institutions with the highest percentage of black medical students lack access to palliative care training.
Riba Kelsey is the Family Medicine residency director at Morehouse School of Medicine, and we talk with her about the implications of these findings at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as well as what we can do in the field of palliative care in general to improve our workforce issues.
One shining example we discuss in depth is the ongoing collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh Palliative care group and Morehouse School of Medicine. We hope that collaborations like these will lead to a wider pipeline of palliative care informed trainees from diverse backgrounds, and someday soon, greater diversity in the palliative care workforce.