Diversity in California’s Health Professions: Current Status and Emerging Trends
California’s population is among the most racially and ethnically diverse in the U.S. However, policy makers, educators, foundations, and other stakeholders are concerned about how well this diverse population is represented among healthcare practitioners in key health professions and occupations. There are many compelling reasons to work toward achieving a more racially and ethnically balanced health professions workforce in California, including the practical consideration of labor market conditions. Healthcare and related industries have been the largest source of job growth over the past decade and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The objective of this analysis is to provide a current picture of diversity in the health professions workforce and educational pipeline in a number of health professions. This inquiry also presents current and projected population data as a benchmark against which to measure diversity in the health professions. It also provides a picture of emerging trends and their implications for meeting California’s current and future health workforce needs.