MEDICAL SCHOOLS: NUMBER OF MINORITY APPLICANTS DROPS
The number of minorities entering medical schools "droppedThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
this year, most drastically in states that have rolled back
affirmative action," according to a study released Saturday by
the Association of American Medical Colleges. The AP/Seattle
Times reports that there was an 11% drop in black, Native
American, Mexican-American, Chicano and Puerto Rican applicants
to the nation's 125 medical schools. The number of minority
applicants accepted also decreased, "with 6.8% fewer of those ...
accepted for 1997 than in 1996."
The AAMC blamed the downturn on the decisions by a federal
court in Texas and the voters of California "to end educational
preferences for minorities." Although only California, Texas,
Mississippi and Louisiana are directly affected by those
decisions, educators fear that "[m]inorities are discouraged from
applying, and administrators have become overly cautious about
admissions policies" (Srinivisan, 11/2). AAMC President Jordan
Cohen said, "This is an ominous sign for the medical community
and our nation, which badly needs a physician work force that is
both diverse and reflective of our society as a whole." Cohen
added, "We fear that medical school admissions committees are
being bullied into strict reliance on only quantitative criteria
like GPAs and test scores. Test scores are important for
measuring an applicant's knowledge, but we know that an
individual's character and ability to communicate effectively are
DUE TO PROP 209?
According to the AAMC report, 17% fewer minorities applied
to medical schools in California, Texas, Mississippi and
Louisiana, while the number of minorities applying to medical
schools outside the four states dropped only 4%. In addition,
the number of minorities accepted in the four states dropped by
27% (AAMC release, 11/1). However, according to American Civil
Rights Institute Executive Director Jennifer Nelson, "It is a
leap of logic ... to assume that changes in California and Texas
graduate schools account for this nationwide trend" (AP/Seattle
Times, 11/2). There was an 8.4% overall drop in applications to
medical schools in 1997 (AAMC release, 11/1).