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Opportunities for Minorities

Minorities In Medicine: Historical Perspective

Currently, a very substantial number of practicing African-American physicians are graduates of one medical school, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC, one of the three predominantly black schools. At one time, virtually all African-American medical students attended these schools. By the end of World War II, one-third of medical schools were exclusively white and, as late as 1960, African-Americans were unable to gain admission to 12 schools. In 1968 the AAMC strongly urged medical schools to begin to admit increased numbers of minority students.

The three medical schools, Howard (Washington, DC), Meharry (Nashville, Tennessee), and Morehouse (Atlanta, Georgia), continue to play a major role in training the pool of minority medical students, admitting about 15% of all such students. From the other 123 allopathic schools, six account for another 15%. Thus, nine schools currently accept about one-third of all underrepresented students.

The three traditionally black medical schools remain attractive to minority students for a variety of reasons. Such schools tend to cost less than many predominantly white institutions. They also provide more role models, having many African-Americans on their faculties. Socialization problems, so common at nonminority schools, obviously do not exist. These schools seem to carefully monitor academic performance and provide assistance to their students, even those not at risk to fail. Thus, the three historically black schools have retained their pivotal position in the education of underrepresented minority physicians (even though they now contain a significant number of white students among their student bodies).

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesGuide to Medical & Dental SchoolsOpportunities for Minorities - Minorities In Medicine: Historical Perspective, Doors Are Open For Minorities, Admission Of Minorities: A Status Report