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Reviewed by:
  • Affirmative Action in Medicine (Improving Health Care for Everyone)
  • A. Cherrie Epps (bio)
Affirmative Action in Medicine (Improving Health Care for Everyone). by J. Curtis, M.D. , New York, NY: The University of Michigan Press, 2003, 216 pp. (hardcover)

This richly detailed report on one of the most significant topics in medicine of our time, affirmative action in medical education, provides a timely perspective on 30 years of attempts to remedy discriminatory practices and implications of minority access to medical education, practice, and health care delivery.

Dr. Curtis, an extraordinary writer, reflects on his personal experiences during desegregation and its transformation of medicine. The result is brilliantly written and comprehensively documented. The triumphs and disappointments of this hidden corner of race relations tells us a great deal about our nation's racial sickness. The book follows the progress of approximately 2,000 minority students admitted to U.S. medical schools in 1969 and through graduation, specialty choices, and careers, and provides comparisons between them and their nonminority peers.

The report is divided into three parts. Part one discusses the purpose and history of affirmative action in U.S. medical schools and the history of civil rights in health care; part two presents comprehensive data on minority and nonminority medical students who graduated between 1973 and 1977; part three follows the cohort 30 years later (in 1994 and 1995). In the final chapter, the author offers his personal opinions on the future of affirmative action in medical education.

This book admirably, eloquently, and accurately reviews the salient features of affirmation action in medical education in the United States. It provides assessments of affirmative action programs and is both readable and thorough. It is likely to interest an audience of health care providers, professionals, educators, and leaders of both the public and private philanthropic sectors addressing the mandate for quality health care for all.

A. Cherrie Epps

A. Cherrie Epps, PhD, is a Senior Advisor to the President for Academic Affairs and Dean, Emeritus of the School of Medicine at Meharry Medical College.



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