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Diversity in Medical School

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently published an Analysis in Brief which covers trends in medical school applicants from 1980-2016. The AAMC analyzes data to identify trends in admission and help medical schools understand changes in demographics over time. There has been a strong push to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the medical profession to align with the percentage of their numbers in the general population. Despite this push, gains have barely been made amongst minority groups. Asian applicants have made the most significant gains. The data show that Asian applicants to medical school have increased by about 16% in that time period; Asian matriculants (those who actually enroll in medical school) increased by about 17%. American Indians and Alaskan Natives have decreased in numbers; applicants decreased by .2% and matriculants by .1%. The actual numbers are paltry; only 54 American Indians or Alaskan Natives enrolled in medical school in 2016.  Blacks/African Americans increased but not by much; applicants increased by 1.2% and matriculants by 1.1%. Their overall percentage of medical school enrollees is 7.1%, whereas they make up 13.3% of the general population according to the US Census.  Hispanic applicants increased by only 1.2% and matriculants increased by 1.4%. Again, their numbers don’t represent the general population; they represent 6.3% of all medical school matriculants whereas in the general public they account for 17.8% of the population.

Clearly, significant work remains to be done to increase the pipeline of people preparing for and applying to medical school to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine.

–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consultant

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