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Minority students, affirmative action, and the admission process: a survey of 15 medical schools



Minority students, affirmative action, and the admission process: a survey of 15 medical schools



Academic Medicine 73(9): 986-992



To assess the current state of admission policies for underrepresented minorities (URMs) at medical schools. In 1997, the author surveyed the admission directors at the 15 medical schools with the largest URM populations. The four categories in the questionnaire covered the makeup of the admission committee, the weights given quantitative factors in admission decisions, the weights given qualitative factors, and the weight given the applicant's status as a URM or disadvantaged student. The 12 responding admission directors provided a wide range of answers as to the makeup of the admission committee and the weights assigned quantitative and qualitative factors. None of the schools gave an exact percentage weight to URM status, although one school added points to a diversity index, which was then used as a quantitative measure. There appears to be an increasing focus on economic and educational disadvantage. The limited parameters of the study prevent the author from offering definitive solutions. However, the responses to the survey suggest that admission policies are secretive and widely varied. The academic community must consider the reasons behind and the consequences of abandoning a forthright approach to affirmative action.

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Accession: 046691849

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PMID: 9759103


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