UF Health Science Center- Jacksonville
There is a critical need for physicians, nurses and pharmacists throughout the state of Florida. Based on current estimates, Florida will need an additional 17,924 doctors and 59,000 nurses by 2035. There is also a great demand for pharmacists given their increased importance in vaccination programs and chronic disease management. These shortages are predicted to become dire as more demand for clinical services grows in line with the increases in Florida populations.
Not only is there an issue with the size of Florida’s health care workforce but with the diversity of Florida’s workforce, specifically its clinicians. Florida is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the US. However, this diversity is not reflected in its health care workforce. Black, Hispanic, and Native American clinicians in medicine, nursing, and pharmacy are underrepresented compared to their share of the population. To increase the size and diversity of the health care workforce, we must create pathway/pipeline programs that inspire and prepare students, especially students from diverse backgrounds, to enter professional schools in the health sciences.
To address the lack of diversity in the health profession, we plan to create a Doctors and Clinicians of Tomorrow (DCoT) program at UF Health Science Center- Jacksonville (UFHSC-J). The goals of the DCoT program at UFHSC-J:
- Inspire students to pursue a clinical career in medicine, nursing, or pharmacy.
- Increase student confidence to pursue a clinical career.
- Increase the number of students from underrepresented backgrounds gaining admission to professional medical, nursing, or pharmacy schools.