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Minorities in Medicine

AMA Medical Student Section Minority Issues Committee

• Definitions • Myths • Facts and Figures • Solutions • What WE (MIC) can do

• Old definition: Underrepresented minority (URM): Including only African-Americans, MexicanAmericans, Native Americans, and mainland Puerto Ricans • After Supreme Court’s decision in Grutter ruling 6/2003: Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population

• Minorities aren’t as smart as majorities.
• Intelligence is individual, not ethnic.

• Minority med students are not qualified.
• Many minorities matriculate with better credentials than majority peers.

• Minority students can’t handle standardized tests.
• There is a greater correlation between psychosocial factors and clinical performance, than test scores.

Taking My Place in Medicine: A Guide for Minority Medical Students by Carmen Webb (2000).

Disappointing facts
• Minorities have 3-5x higher rates of requiring an extra year to finish medical school and of failing national board exams on first sitting • 1997 Minority Retention rates: 88% compared to 97% for all students.

• Minority patients choose minority physicians. • By 2050, racial and ethnic minorities will comprise half of the U.S. population! • In 2004, Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Americans = 6.4% of all docs from U.S. allopathic medical schools. • The 2000 U.S. Census data showed Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Americans = 26% of the U.S. population.

Facts (cont.)

Facts (cont.)

Facts (cont.)

Facts (cont.)
(2006 total physicians = 921,904)
Race/Ethnicity White Black Hispanic Asian American Native/Alaska Native Other Unknown Number 514,254 32,452 46,214 113,585 1,444 12,572 201,383 Percentage 55.8 3.5 5.0 12 .02 1.4 22

Facts (cont.)

• Diversity in the physician workforce contributes to increased access to health care for the underserved. • 2005 National Healthcare Disparities Report:
• Increasing diversity in the health care workforce has been cited as a solution to narrowing the healthcare disparities gap disproportionately experienced by racial and ethnic minorities and individuals of low socioeconomic status.

Solutions (cont.)
• The presence of mentors and strong, positive role models may help ensure the success of racial and ethnic minority medical students, physicians, and physician-scientists. • Research dedicated to diseases having disproportionate impact on minorities, and increasing the number of physicians serving in underserved communities.

Solutions (cont.)
• The AAMC-AMA Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME):
• Medical schools are encouraged to pursue actively the expansion of minority student support funds from local, state and federal levels. The AAMC is making known to the American public and to the federal government these needs to increase financial aid for minority students and for all students.

What can we do?
• Contact multicultural resource center/minority affairs/comm service prgrams for stats about school/local community. • Email minority professors/physicians about being involved w/ mentoring/admissions. • Showcases minority physician trajectories. • Mentor undergrad pipeline organizations, become involved with NNLAMS/SNMA/LMSA.

What can we do? (cont.)
• Seek test-prep resources/consultations to make available to minorities for free. • Research diseases having disproportionate minority impact. • Reach out to underserved while in school and beyond (tutoring, outreach programs, free health screenings in local community).

• AMA resources:

• AMA Doctors Back to School Program:

• AAMC minority resources:

• Scholarships, Awards, Financial Aid: