Amid a growing recognition that Black Americans experience disparities in health and medical care, new research suggests Black patients live longer and healthier lives when their primary care doctors are also Black. A 10% increase in Black primary care doctor representation is associated with an extra month of life expectancy for Black patients, says Michael Dill, director of Workforce Studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges team which analyzed the relationship of Black primary care physicians and health outcomes in 1,600 US counties. But diversifying the physician workforce improves public health more generally. There were fewer deaths of any cause for county residents, Black and White, when there was a higher representation of black physicians in the workforce per county.

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