30 Jul AltaMed Health Careers Opportunity Program Aims to Reduce the California Physician Shortage

AltaMed Health Services, one of the nation’s largest federally qualified community health centers, has partnered with Charles Drew University to launch the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) which prepares undergraduate students to enter health professions. Students learn how to administer injections and prepare IVs as a practical exercise during the six-week curriculum. The program provides pre-med students onsite learning in a community-based health care center, professional networking and research opportunities.

A recent UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative study found California has the lowest rate of Latino physicians in the nation. More Latinos live in California than in any other state in the nation, according to the Pew Research Institute. The report cites that the shortage is partly due to U.S. medical schools admitting very few Latino students. Increasing medical school admissions for Latino students will reduce language barriers and healthcare disparities among the growing Latino population. AltaMed’s HCOP program is in accordance with the study’s findings that the number of California primary care residency slots should be expanded to training opportunities in state hospitals and community clinics of medically and linguistically underserved communities.

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