Limited, Uneven Progress Is Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity of Dental School Graduates

Authors: Edward Salsberg, MPA, FAAN | Erin Brantley, PhD, MPH | Sara Westergaard, MD, MPH | Jenee Farrell, BS | Christina Rosenthal, DDS, MPH

Topics: Diversity, Oral Health

Research Center: GW Health Workforce Research Center

September 20, 2021

Black, Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaskan Native populations in the US experience great disparities in both oral health status and access to dental services. Increased diversity in the oral health workforce has been shown to decrease access barriers and oral health disparities and increase health care quality and patient satisfaction, specifically for minority populations.

This article evaluates the racial and ethnic diversity of graduates of various dental schools compared to the diversity of the populations they draw from, and assesses national changes over time.

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