Mentorship, networks and pipeline programs key to filling

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The American Heart Association published a report Oct. 20 examining diversity in cardiology, specifically on Black cardiologists.

The report cited a 2015 American College of Cardiology survey that found 4 percent of cardiologists were Black women and 2 percent were Black men. In the past year, 7.3 percent of cardiology students were Black. 

Another study cited in the report estimated that more Black doctors could reduce the gap in heart disease deaths between Black and white men by 19 percent.

Debora Kamin Mukaz, PhD, a researcher and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vermont in Burlington, told the American Heart Association that networks of mentorship are important to help Black students succeed. She also pointed to the work of the Summer Health Professions Education Program, which has exposed students to health careers and helped 8,000 physicians from diverse communities launch a career since 1989.

Joey Barnett, PhD, a pharmacology professor at Nashville-based Vanderbilt University, has worked with the American Heart Association's efforts on diversity in cardiology, the report said. The work includes partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities.

Read the full report with stories about people of color in cardiology here.

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