Addressing the Health Care Workforce Crisis Begins with Diversifying the Student Pipeline

Beyond 12 / January 2021

In 2019, the California Future Health Workforce Commission released Meeting the Demand for Health, a report that highlights recommendations for addressing California’s workforce gaps: the state does not have enough of the right types of health workers in the right places to meet the needs of its growing, aging, and increasingly diverse population.To address these gaps, the Commission made a series of recommendations, including that the State support all students, but especially those who are first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students of color into and through health care professions.

This brief identifies the need to increase the number of health care professionals in California, reviews the benefits of diversifying student pipelines into health professions, and makes key recommendations for state policymakers’ consideration that would increase the number of first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students of color who enter health care professions.