Non-English Speaking Patients

The number of Latino physicians decreases despite the growth of the population

UCLA study analyzed the Latino community between 1980 and 2010.


Source: Rhoda Baer/National Cancer Institute

Source: Rhoda Baer/National Cancer Institute

Despite the fast growth ethnic in the United States, the Latino community is facing a significant challenge in the medical field. Since 1980, its population has risen 243 percent from under 15 million to over 51 million in 2010. The number of Latino physicians per 100,000 Latinos has declined by 22 percent during that period (from 135 to 105). 

Meanwhile, the national rate of non-Hispanic white physicians increased from 211 for every 100,000 non-Hispanic whites to 315 per 100,000, according to a study conducted by UCLA's Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture. The study used data from U.S. Census from 1980 through 2010 in five states with large Latino populations — California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. 

According to Dr. Gloria Sanchez, the paper’s lead author, the shortage could negatively affect health care for U.S. Latinos. “For example, there is a shortage of healthcare professionals that, at minimum, have the language skills to communicate effectively with patients, provide quality care and avoid harmful outcomes for a growing majority of patients not only in California but in the nation as a whole,” said Sanchez in an interview to UCLA Newsroom

To access the study click HERE

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