The legislature finds that inequities in health outcomes exist in Washington state and that future generations of health care professionals have an important role to play in mitigating these disparate outcomes. Because state schools are tasked with the formative role of educating medical professionals, the legislature sees fit to ensure students leaving these institutions are prepared to care effectively for the people of diverse cultures, groups, and communities that will become their patients. By equipping them with the tools to serve diverse communities, students of medicine will have the knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand and counteract racism and implicit bias in health care.
HB5228 attempts to undo structural racism for medical students, medical professionals, and patients and provides opportunities for education to build a more equitable health care system.
By January 1, 2023, the state medical schools will each develop curriculum on health equity for medical students. Also, they will each develop a goal that their student population will be more representative of the demographics of Washington state, focused on underrepresented students. Each initial goal shall be set for January 1, 2025. The schools must report progress towards their goal on an annual basis through their public websites.