The Supreme Court recently handed down three rulings regarding affirmative action at colleges and universities, religious accommodations for employees and student loan forgiveness.
Here is how the three rulings could impact the dental industry:
The Supreme Court ruled June 29 that U.S. colleges and universities cannot consider race as a factor in admissions, which could affect dental schools’ efforts to increase diversity at schools and in the workforce.
The decisions settled lawsuits against Chapel Hill-based University of North Carolina and Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University, which alleged that the schools’ affirmative action policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment.
Creating a diverse workforce has been a priority for dental school programs in recent years to improve patient care and increase accessibility.
Black and Hispanic dentists are significantly underrepresented in the dental workforce, while Asian dentists are significantly overrepresented, according to the American Dental Association. While the workforce has diversified since 2005, the percentage of Black dentists has seen little change. White dentists made up more than 70 percent of dentists in the U.S. in 2020, down from 79.8 percent in 2005.