Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Minority Students in Medical School: A Single-Institution Experience

This article was originally published here

J Ethnic-racial disparities in health. 2022 Jan 27. doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01241-6. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Initiatives to recruit underrepresented minority students to medical school admissions and diversity offices can bring equity to underrepresented medical learners. Measuring the growth of the candidate pool helps determine the impact of these initiatives on the diversification of the health workforce.

OBJECTIVE: The authors assessed the growth of the underrepresented minority applicant pool at the Brody School of Medicine to determine whether predominantly white institutions or historically black colleges and universities have accounted for the greatest growth of minority applicants in recent years.

METHODS: Statewide outreach results were obtained by comparing candidate and graduate demographics. Data on all applicants and enrollees was extracted from the school’s institutional records and categorized according to students’ self-identification as an underrepresented minority. Using chi-square tests, the authors sought to determine whether the proportion of minority students had increased among applicants and enrollees since 2016, the year of the outreach restructuring. In further analysis, the number of graduates from historically black colleges and universities versus minority graduates from predominantly white schools was assessed.

RESULTS: The authors identified 7848 applicants and 654 registrants during the evaluation period. The proportion of learners identifying as belonging to an underrepresented minority increased from 17% before 2016 (622/3672) to 20% after 2016 (835/4176; p=0.001). The proportion of applicants who did not graduate from a historically black college or university increased slightly after 2016 (89% of applicants from an underrepresented minority before 2016 versus 92% of applicants from a underrepresented minority after 2016), but this increase was not statistically significant (p=0.097).

CONCLUSION: Applicant growth was greatest for underrepresented minority applicants from predominantly white institutions. Graduates of targeted historically black colleges and universities who applied to the Brody School of Medicine were better prepared, which increased the chances of admission.

PMID:35088390 | DOI:10.1007/s40615-022-01241-6

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