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Opportunities for Minorities

Doors Are Open For Minorities

The academic medical community has responded in a positive manner to provide greater opportunities for members of minority groups to secure admission. There are intensive efforts to enroll minority group members: African-Americans, Native Americans/Alaskan natives, Mexican Americans, mainland Puerto Ricans, Asians, or Pacific Islanders. This policy has been effective, as reflected by the fact that, for example, from 1990–95, minority group members, making up the first-year class, increased to 2,000, or about 12%. This represents a significant increase over the less than 5% representation about two decades earlier. Facilitating this process is the fact that many schools have a specific person to deal with minority affairs. Thus, if you are a member of a minority group, you should often address your inquiries to “Director of Minority Affairs.”

A special service that has been initiated to assist such students is the Medical Minority Applicant Registry (Med-MAR). This service enables any minority student applying to medical school to have his or her basic biography (except GPA and MCAT scores) circulated to all U.S. medical schools without charge. A list of such students is published two times a year. To be put on this list, you should identify yourself on the questionnaire as a member of a minority group at the time you take the MCAT, or contact the Minority Student Information Clearing House, Association of American Medical Colleges, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036.

You should also consider that some medical schools may waive their application fee for minority group students with economic need. The AMCAS fee can also be waived because of financial need, but the MCAT fee is never waived.

The increase in the number of African-Americans being admitted to medical school has had an impact on their total enrollment and on the number of African-Americans graduating. As expected, the number of African-Americans undertaking graduate education, that is, securing special training by means of residencies, has increased significantly over the past decade. The majority of African-Americans initiating residency training do so at hospitals located in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The majority of African-Americans in residency programs are being trained in five specialties: family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, pediatrics, and surgery.

To help disadvantaged or minority group students, some schools arrange special summer programs prior to the formal beginning of medical school for candidates already admitted. In addition, a variety of flexible curricular alternatives are available in some schools for such students as they progress through medical school. For specific information on these programs, contact the Office of Minority Students Affairs at the individual schools.

Summaries of special minority admissions programs are outlined for individual schools in the special features section of the medical school profiles, which are found in Chapter 7.

Additional topics

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