Racial Diversity in the Medical Profession: The Impact of Affirmative Action Bans on Underrepresented Student of Color Matriculation in Medical Schools
- The Journal of Higher Education
- The Ohio State University Press
- Volume 86, Number 2, March/April 2015
- pp. 264-294
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This study examines the impact of affirmative action bans in six states (California, Washington, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Nebraska) on the matriculation rates of historically underrepresented students of color in public medical schools in these states. Findings show that affirmative action bans have led to about a 17% decline (from 18.5% to 15.3%) in the first-time matriculation of medical school students who are underrepresented students of color. This decline is similar to drops in the enrollment of students of color that have taken place across other educational sectors, including the nation’s most selective public undergraduate institutions, law schools, and various graduate fields of study, after bans on affirmative action were enacted in some of these states. The findings suggest that statewide laws banning the consideration of race in postsecondary admissions pose serious obstacles for the medical profession to address the health care crisis facing the nation.