More minorities are graduating med school, but disparities persist

The number of nonwhite students graduating from medical schools has increased since 2002 but black, Hispanic and American Indian students are still underrepresented, according to a study published Sept. 4 in Jama Network Open Journal. 

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Association of American Medical Colleges on self-reported race/ethnicity and sex of medical school applicants and graduates from 2002-17.

Researchers found students from minority racial/ethnic groups are still underrepresented in medical schools, and the physician workforce still does not represent the demographic characteristics of the U.S. population. Numbers of black, Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native medical school graduates increased from 2002-17, but at a rate slower than their white counterparts. The number of black female applicants also decreased during the study period.

Despite the Liaison Committee of Medical Education's launch of diversity accreditation guidelines in 2009, underrepresentation of minority racial/ethnic groups has not changed significantly, study authors concluded. 

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