See, seek, support: a policy framework to uplift first-generation low-income medical professionals

Cha et al. / Journal of Public Health Policy / October 2023

First-gen medical students

The First-Generation and/or Low-Income (FGLI) identity is not readily visible, encapsulating those who are the first in their families to complete a 4-year college degree and/or those living near or below the poverty line. In the backdrop of unprecedented levels of socioeconomic inequality in a country where household income predicts educational attainment, the authors explore the current state of U.S. society regarding socioeconomic status and health care. The authors describe challenges in diversifying the health care workforce and present a multi-pronged policy approach for visibilizing, recruiting, supporting, and retaining FGLI trainees in medicine, with the promise of improving the quality of health care delivery altogether. Through this work, the authors aim to render the field of medicine more equitable for trainees, physicians, and patients alike.