Underrepresented in the Health Professions (URHP)
Welcome to Northwestern Health Professions Advising’s resource for students underrepresented in the health professions. This resource aims to support underrepresented pre-health students exploring common questions and getting connected to additional resources.
What do we mean by Underrepresented in the Health Professions (URHP)?
The health workforce in the United States does not reflect the diversity of the Nation as a whole. Professionals identifying as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, multi-racial, LGBTQ, and people sharing one or more of these identities are significantly underrepresented in most health professions. For example, Latinos represent 18% of the US population but only 4% of dentists and 5% of doctors in the US.
This underrepresentation results in the uneven distribution of the burden of disease in these same communities. Historical racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and other exclusionary beliefs, policies and practices are at the root of this problem. 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 not mentioned here that 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.
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 hopes to help under-represented students on their journey toward a career in the health professions meet those challenges confidently.