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Acad Med. 2012 Jun;87(6):689-90. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318253a152.

Commentary: who will help the United States attain the goal of health equity?

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  • 1American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC, USA.


A research report in this issue of Academic Medicine by Peek and colleagues describes how physician organizations are mounting different initiatives targeted at reducing health disparities. The study emphasizes how these organizations are attempting to promote health equity through policies and programs focused on education, clinical care, research, and advocacy. They found that 68% of surveyed organizations have at least one initiative targeting health disparities.This commentary acknowledges the positive trend uncovered by Peek and colleagues which characterizes the engagement level of national physician organizations on this critical issue, and suggests four ways to enhance future efforts. First, health equity should be linked to overall quality of care and emerging initiatives aimed at transforming the delivery of health care. Second, the effect of such efforts can be magnified by evaluating what works and sharing best practices. Third, interventions must be targeted at institutions as well as individual physicians. Finally, it should be emphasized that the driving rationale for physicians to strive for health equity is the ethical imperative to promote justice in health care.

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