AMSA Denounces Congressman Murphy’s Attack on Diversity in Medicine: Urges Stronger DEI Initiatives for Equitable Healthcare

March 26, 2024

In response to Congressman Greg Murphy’s proposed bill, “Ban DEI in Medicine,” the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) stands firm in its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the medical field.

Congressman Murphy’s assertion that American medical schools are immune to discrimination is not only erroneous but dangerously dismissive of the persistent disparities that plague our healthcare system. The representation of DEI as a tool for discrimination is a gross misrepresentation and threatens the very foundation of equitable healthcare for all.

DEI initiatives are not merely symbolic gestures; they are critical components in saving lives. Study after study has demonstrated that diverse physicians improve patient outcomes, reduce mortality and morbidity rates, and enhance overall healthcare quality. By banning DEI, Congressman Murphy threatens the well-being of both future physicians and patients.

The statistics are stark: while 12% of the U.S. population is Black, only 5.7% of practicing physicians are Black—a clear indication of the glaring workforce disparity that fails to represent the communities it serves. This disparity is further exacerbated among Hispanic populations. The “Ban DEI in Medicine” bill would strip federal funding, including crucial student loans, from medical schools with DEI initiatives—a move that would not only hinder diversity efforts but also exacerbate healthcare disparities.

It is imperative to acknowledge that healthcare disparities persist, disproportionately affecting racial and ethnic minority groups who face increased barriers to care and worse health outcomes. These disparities persist precisely because we lack a diverse healthcare workforce capable of understanding and addressing the unique needs of diverse patient populations.

Congressman Murphy’s proposal is not only short-sighted but detrimental to the health and well-being of all Americans. Rather than diminishing DEI efforts, we must redouble our commitment to fostering an inclusive healthcare environment that reflects the diversity of our nation.

AMSA calls on Congress to reject this misguided proposal and instead work towards bolstering DEI initiatives in medicine. Our nation’s health depends on it.

ACTION ALERT: AMSA urges all its members to call Congressman Murphy’s office and their respective congressional representatives to express opposition to the “Ban DEI in Medicine” bill. Use this call script and let your voices be heard in defense of equitable healthcare for all.