Female and minority health professionals face discrimination from rural colleagues

From Reuters:

Even as rural America struggles to attract enough healthcare providers, women and minority health professionals are sometimes driven out of rural communities by the discrimination and harassment from colleagues, a new study finds.

In interviews for the study, many of the healthcare professionals who were female, nonwhite, and of certain sexual orientation and gender identity minority groups described burnout from bias, harassment and hostility from their colleagues, researchers report in JAMA Network Open.

“We’re trying very hard to bring healthcare providers to underserved rural communities,” said study leader Dr. Michelle Ko from the University of California, Davis. “But we have to be very cognizant of how bias, harassment and institutional discrimination can be barriers to that. These issues affect not only the wellbeing of the health professionals but also patients’ access to care.”

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