Diversity of United States medical students by region compared to US census data
Authors Smith M, Rose S, Schroeder D, Long T
Received 11 February 2015
Accepted for publication 12 March 2015
Published 15 May 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 367—372
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 4
Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder
Mark M Smith,1 Steven H Rose,1 Darrell R Schroeder,2 Timothy R Long1
1Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA; 2Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
Purpose: Increasing the diversity of the United States (US) physician workforce to better represent the general population has received considerable attention. The purpose of this study was to compare medical student race data to that of the US general population. We hypothesized that race demographics of medical school matriculants would reflect that of the general population.
Patients and methods: Published race data from the United States Census Bureau (USCB) 2010 census and the 2011 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) allopathic medical school application and enrollment by race and ethnicity survey were analyzed and compared. Race data of enrolled medical students was compared to race data of the general population within geographic regions and subregions. Additionally, race data of medical school applicants and matriculants were compared to race data of the overall general population.
Results: Race distribution within US medical schools was significantly different than race distribution for the overall, regional, and subregional populations of the US (P<0.001). Additionally, the overall race distribution of medical school applicants differed significantly to the race distribution of the general population (P<0.001).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that race demographics of US medical school applicants and matriculants are significantly different from that of the general population, and may be resultant of societal quandaries present early in formal education. Initiatives targeting underrepresented minorities at an early stage to enhance health care career interest and provide academic support and mentorship will be required to address the racial disparity that exists in US medical schools and ultimately the physician workforce.
Keywords: United States, medical school application, medical school admission, race distribution, population demographics
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]