Dr. John Paul Sanchez: Advocate for diversity in medicine

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Dr. John Paul Sanchez
Photo Courtesy Latino Medical Student Association Facebook page

Dr. John Paul Sanchez has a dedication to diversity and inclusion in medicine that is unmatched among physicians.  In addition to his work with the Latino Medical Student Association, he has been recognized for his advocacy in LGBTQ+ health.

As the son of Puerto Rican educators in the Bronx, Dr. Sanchez saw the impact of health disparities at a young age.  In particular, the HIV / AIDS epidemic made him curious as to why it disproportionately effected Latinos and gay men.

“I saw the effect of health disparities at an early age and it made me very scared,” he said in an interview with United Health Group. “I became interested in medicine as a matter of survival.”

Dr. Sanchez would go on to New York University where he was involved educational efforts for the LGBTQ+ community.  It was when he met Dr. Kenneth Dominguez that he decided to acquire an MPH and be an epidemiologist. He received a Master’s degree in public health from Yale and went to medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His residency was completed at Jacobi/Montefiore in Emergency Medicine.

It was during his medical studies that Dr. Sanchez became aware of the obstacles underrepresented minorities face when pursuing a career in medicine. A major barrier is the lack of diversity among the faculty of medical schools.

During his professional career, he has focused on bringing diversity to academic medicine. He has served as the assistant dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Rutgers Medical School, and leads Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians Inc. which encourages minorities, women and LGBTQ+ students to in medical school to think about pursuing academic medicine.

As a practicing physician and healthcare leader, Dr. John Paul Sanchez has his hands full. He divides his time between caring for patients in the emergency department, leading diversity and inclusion efforts for a variety of organizations and researching diversity in academic medicine.

He believes there are gaps in academic medicine including in the evaluation process of diversity initiatives in the physician workforce.

When not advocating or treating patients, Dr. Sanchez enjoys taking mentees to the summer Shakespearean performances in Central Park.  His interest in education comes from seeing his parents.  His father was a Spanish professor and his mother was an English as a Second Language teacher.

 

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