Integrating the 3Ds--social determinants, health disparities, and health-care workforce diversity

Public Health Rep. 2014 Jan-Feb;129 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):9-14. doi: 10.1177/00333549141291S204.


The established relationships among social determinants of health (SDH), health disparities, and race/ethnicity highlight the need for health-care professionals to adequately address SDH in their encounters with patients. The ethnic demographic transition slated to occur during the next several decades in the United States will have numerous effects on the health-care sector, particularly as it pertains to the need for a more diverse and culturally aware workforce. In recent years, a substantial body of literature has developed, exploring the extent to which diversity in the health-care workforce may be used as a tool to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care in the U.S. We explore existing literature on this topic, propose a conceptual framework, and identify next steps in health-care policy for reducing and eliminating health disparities by addressing SDH and diversification of the health-care workforce.

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Delivery of Health Care / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Health Workforce* / standards
  • Health Workforce* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Social Determinants of Health*
  • United States / epidemiology