Black med students 50% more likely to leave MD training, study finds

Half of Black medical students pursuing an MD degree leave before finishing — an attrition rate that is significantly higher than that of their peers, research published July 31 in JAMA found.

Researchers examined data from U.S. MD students between 2004 and 2012, broken down by race and ethnicity to determine the results. They note that in comparison to a separate study that looked at similar data from 1995 and 2000, the latest results show that attrition rates for Black medical students have decreased further.

Between the 2004 and 2012 study timeframe, only 17 percent of White MD students did not finish their training compared to 29 percent of Black students. 

The findings that highlight these contrasts by race in medical school retention, researchers wrote, "may be an important contributor to diversity in the biomedical scientific workforce."

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