LOCAL NEWS

Data shows Black people are more likely to die of heart disease, cardiologist representation low

Feb 29, 2024, 4:27 PM | Updated: 4:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows Black people are a lot more likely to die of heart disease than white people. But the number of Black cardiologists in the U.S. is dangerously low – just 3% – and there’s a big push to recruit more Black students into the profession.

“Representation matters. It’s been shown through small qualitative studies, that increased trust occurs when someone is receiving care from someone that looks like them,” said Dr. Richard Ferguson, president of the Black Physicians of Utah.

He said the reasons why numbers are so low is because the specialty is highly competitive with few training programs that are costly, and lack of support. That’s why he’s trying to reach out to black and minority students in high school and college.

“Part of it is encouragement to go into the field. The other is seeing that there are black cardiologists that or that would more likely motivate that young student.”

Ferguson applauds institutions like the University of Utah for building partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to attract more black students.

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Data shows Black people are more likely to die of heart disease, cardiologist representation low