Howard University No. 1 for sending black applicants to medical school

Howard University produces the highest number of African-American applicants to U.S. medical schools, the Washington, D.C.-based university announced Aug. 8.

Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges cited by the university states 118 Howard undergraduates applied to U.S. medical schools during the 2017-18 academic year, the most of any other college or university.

Howard officials attribute the higher rate to the creation of several programs designed to help students apply to medical school after their undergraduate careers. For example, the university boasts a pre-freshman summer enhancement program that allows select freshmen to live on campus for six weeks and enroll in intensive biology, chemistry, English and math classes.

Howard's own medical school was launched nearly 150 years ago by a group of eight students. Today, the school enrolls more than 300 students — more than double the number of black students at leading predominantly white medical schools, the university said in a prepared statement.

"Howard University prepares more African American pre-med students to apply to medical school and enrolls the most African American students in our own esteemed medical school because we are committed to our mission to diversify the workforce with an infusion of talented, well-prepared scholars," Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, MD, said in the university's news release.

"Despite these strides there is still a significant underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic medical students enrolling in school. The number of Black male applicants is down from 1976, but we are encouraged and honored to contribute as the institution of choice for many students pursuing careers in medicine," he added.

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