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Minority doctors must lead efforts to reduce health disparities [Letter]

Barack Obama

Reducing health disparities is not for the faint-hearted ("Health disparities persist today," April 16). These are complex and complicated medical, social, environmental, behavioral and political issues that get intertwined.

One of the reasons health disparities persist is because of the lack of bold and courageous African American and Latino physician leadership. Yes, there are experts of all colors who give technologically brilliant PowerPoint presentations. But that is not what is needed to create the transformational societal change that must take place to reduce health disparities.

President Barack Obama has taken the first foundational step by getting major health care reform into law. It's not perfect, but it needs the wisdom and engagement of African and Latino Leaders to fix it if it is going to be sustainable.

Margaret Mead said it best, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." The challenge to reduce health disparities is before us, will African American and Latino physician leaders step up to the plate?

Dr. Robert A. Beltran, Irvine, Calif.

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