The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously this week to diversify the pool of doctors working at county hospitals, trauma centers and health care facilities.
Supervisor Hilda Solis proposed coordinating with labor unions to recruit more “culturally and linguistically competent physicians” to staff the second largest municipal health care system in the nation.
“By ensuring that our physicians are as diverse as the patients they see, we place a strong emphasis on effective and culturally appropriate services,” Solis said. “This is about hiring and equipping our local working men and women with the leadership, training and skills needed to best serve the needs of our diverse communities.”
The board also hopes to reduce the number of contract physicians and become the employer of choice for medical residents in training at county facilities.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who co-authored the motion, said the county employs more than 4,000 doctors and offers one of the largest physician training programs nationwide.
“It is important that we review our hiring practices to ensure that our hospitals and clinics can continue to effectively compete for the best doctors, and that the many physicians we train will choose to stay here,” Kuehl said.
The motion drew union support.
“Union of American Physicians and Dentists doctors appreciate that supervisors Solis and Kuehl are taking steps to ensure that there are enough county doctors to serve the needs of all Los Angeles residents,” said UAPD.
President Stuart Bussey. “What they are proposing here should be a model for other counties, most of which are facing similar recruitment challenges.”