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Keywords:

  • clinical research;
  • cultural diversity;
  • curriculum;
  • health disparities;
  • translational research;
  • multidisciplinary;
  • multiinstitutional

Abstract

Health disparities may affect any person in any community in the world, resulting from a multitude of factors including socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, environment, and genetics. The impact of health disparities is felt by affected individuals, their families, communities, and the greater health care system.

There is a critical need to increase health disparities research activities. This may be achieved by expanding and strengthening the training, education and career development of motivated clinicians, physicians and basic scientists, engaging them in clinical and translational research. Translational research relies on collaboration across disciplines, facilitating the dissemination and transfer of knowledge to populations for the overall improvement of health while decreasing the economic burden of health care.

The University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus (UPR-MSC), Schools of Health Professions and Medicine joint initiatives, Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD) and Hispanics in Research Capability (HiREC) programs, convened health disparities experts, faculty and scholars from multiple disciplines, cultural backgrounds and institutions. Together, they created a model for teaching translational research in health disparities that spans disciplines without boundaries. This work was presented at the 2011 Clinical and Translational Research and Education Meeting, ACRT/AFMR/SCTS Joint Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Clin Trans Sci 2011; Volume 4: 434–438.