We Are Not All the Same: Implications of Heterogeneity Among Latiné/e/x/o/a, Hispanic, and Spanish Origin People

A mother, who is a person of color, holds her infant in a fluffy white blanket while a white pediatrician uses a stethoscope

There is great variation in the experiences of Latiné/e/x/o/a, Hispanic, and/or Spanish origin (LHS) individuals in the United States, including differences in race, ancestry, colonization histories, and immigration experiences. This essay calls readers to consider the implications of the heterogeneity of lived experiences among LHS populations, including variations in country of origin, immigration histories, time in the United States, languages spoken, and colonization histories on patient care and academia. There is power in unity when advocating for community, social, and political change, especially as it pertains to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI; sometimes referred to as DEI) efforts in academic institutions. Yet, there is also a critical need to disaggregate the LHS diaspora and its conceptualization based on differing experiences so that we may improve our understanding of the sociopolitical attributes that impact health. We propose strategies to improve recognition of these differences and their potential health outcomes toward a goal of health equity.

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