Policy Solutions to Increasing Compositional Diversity within Doctor of Pharmacy Programs.

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Americans of Color fare worse than White Americans on nearly every measure of healthcare quality. An influencing factor is the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the healthcare workforce. As a frontline healthcare profession, pharmacy must address this lack of representation, especially as the patient population continues to become more racially diverse. Unfortunately, demographic trends of current Doctor of Pharmacy students do not forecast significant change. Therefore, the primary objective of the review was to identify relevant institutional level policies and/or procedures that could be implemented to enhance the compositional diversity of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programs. A comprehensive literature search was performed utilizing the search criteria “Diversity AND pharmacy education”, as well as “underrepresented minority AND pharmacy education”. A total of 8 studies were included in analysis. Interventions evaluated were categorized into three major themes: increasing the compositional diversity of applicants (recruitment), transiting those applicants to matriculants (admissions), and retaining students once they arrive on campus (culture). Four articles addressed components of recruitment, three addressed admissions, and three addressed culture. The literature is clear that diversity in pharmacy education is a historic problem and few interventions have made a significant impact on the compositional diversity of the pipeline of professionals. Other healthcare professional programs are grappling with a similar reality. National healthcare professional associations must come together to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic priorities that address the entire healthcare system and all the professionals that work within it.



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