Supreme Court Ruling Threatens Diversity in Future Workforce of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
Washington, DC, June 30, 2023 - The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) expresses deep concern regarding the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina. This decision poses a substantial threat to diversity within the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, limiting our ability to meet the mental health needs of the children, families, and communities we serve.
The Supreme Court’s ruling, which restricts the consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions, impairs the recruitment of a diverse group of students into undergraduate programs, medical schools , and psychiatry residency programs. Research shows that the lack of educational attainment beyond high school can lead to greater socio-economic challenges that perpetuate health inequities in underrepresented minorities. Lack of representation within medicine has a health impact on communities, especially minoritized communities.
Additionally, the absence of affirmative action in higher education raises significant concerns about the growing disparities and lack of equity within the admission practices across institutions nationwide. Removing affirmative action in higher education will restrict the number of underrepresented minoritized groups admitted to undergraduate or graduate programs, including child and adolescent psychiatry residency programs. Consequently, the future workforce of child and adolescent psychiatrists may be deprived of the varied perspectives and experiences required to both enrich the field and address the unique mental health needs of diverse populations and communities.
To provide the best care for the children, families, and communities we serve, it is essential to have a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities served and our society as a whole. A diverse workforce can address the nuanced complexities of different communities and cultures, while elevating the intrinsic strengths and resources.
AACAP remains committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our field and profession. We will continue advocating for policies and practices that promote equity in education and opportunity while fostering diverse representation in medical schools and psychiatric training programs.
AACAP calls upon policymakers, educators, and medical institutions to recognize the critical importance of a diverse workforce in addressing the mental health needs of our nation's youth. We urge them to work collaboratively towards systemic and structural transformation that promote the inclusion of underrepresented and minoritized communities and their voices.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is a national professional medical association dedicated to promoting the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families. With a membership of over 10,000 professionals, AACAP provides valuable resources, expertise, and advocacy to advance the field of child and adolescent psychiatry and improve mental health care for young people. www.aacap.org