University of Texas minority students mentored by minority doctors

Tour for Diversity in Medicine program aims to improve medical care

Published On: Feb 12 2013 05:26:06 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 12 2013 05:40:24 PM CST

The University of Texas at San Antonio is now part of Tour For Diversity In Medicine, a national initiative to bring diversity to the healthcare profession.

The Tour for Diversity is bringing minority doctors from all over the country to schools across Texas to help minority students headed to medical school. 

Dr. Alden Landry took time off from his job as an emergency room physician in Boston to mentor students. 

"The issue is, is there a level playing field?" he said. "And that's what we're here to do -- to make sure the minority students see examples of minority physicians who look like them, who have the same backgrounds as them, but who are also achieving the same goal that they want to accomplish."

The goal is to bring diversity to healthcare, which, according to experts, could improve the experience for minority patients.

According to Landry, new research shows patients are more satisfied with their medical treatment when their doctor is of the same race.

"Patients are more likely to comply with medications and also they're more likely to follow plans of care that are prescribed by their physicians if they're from similar backgrounds," said Landry.   

However, while minorities make up more than half of the Texas population, only one in three practicing physicians are minorities.

Landry hopes that by mentoring students, he'll help more minority students achieve their goals and, in turn, help the quality of healthcare.

"Our overall goal is improving general public health and this is one way we're trying to do so," he said.