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Black/African American


Welcome to Northwestern Health Professions Advising’s resource for students identifying as Black and African American pursuing careers in the health professions. The following resources aim to address common questions and help students get connected to additional resources on their journey toward their chosen health profession.

Representation Matters 

The health workforce in the United State does not reflect the diversity of the Nation as a whole. Professionals identifying as Black and African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American Peoples, multi-racial, LGBTQ, and people sharing one or more of these identities are significantly underrepresented in most health professions. For example, Black and African Americans represent 14% of the US population but only 3.4% of dentists and 5% of doctors in the US.
This underrepresentation, combined with systemic racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and other exclusionary beliefs, policies and practices, results in the uneven distribution of the burden of disease in these same communities. As part of our mission, we strive to recognize and center these identities in our work and aim to better support underrepresented students on their journey into their chosen health profession. 

We recognize there are additional identities and intersections within those identities of students not mentioned here, which are also underrepresented in the health professions. As we continue to research and develop additional resources, we remain committed to redressing these injustices in our practice.  

Our Commitment

We are committed to supporting students of all backgrounds in their pursuit of careers in the health professions, including medicine. Our ultimate goal is to support students who will contribute to the development of a health workforce that truly reflects the rich diversity of our society. The journey toward a career in the health professions is often stressful and navigating those pre-health tracks with minoritized identities can create additional challenges. In developing this resource, Health Professions Advising will continue to push back to help dismantle the oppressive systems that foster additional challenges to help Black students meet the challenges on their journey toward a career in the health professions.

In This Guide