Appendix 21a - Racism

by Michael Greger, MD and United Progressive Alumni

[ Medical School Resources | Appendices | Discussion ]

The FYBIGMI anthropologists note in their conclusion that, "The Senior's representation of patients makes their conception of their new professional identity clear by focusing on, and stigmatizing, patients who are ignorant, poor and Black."[273]

Ninety-Seven Percent

In one study, one third of nonwhite medical students report hearing racial slurs in medical school.[274] Reported in the article, "Perceptions of Racism by Black Medical Students Attending White Medical Schools," while only over a half of the students interviewed experienced racism during their high school and college education, 30 out of 31 reported racist experiences in medical school. Twenty-nine of them, "spoke of suppressing anger or being in a state of shock at the environment they found."[275]

Class Standing

According to a new report by the Pew Health Professions Commission, unless medical schools encourage diversity by developing new admissions policies that take more factors than test scores into account, tomorrow's healthcare providers will be ill-equipped for the future. Commission Chair George Mitchell:

There's a straightforward solution to increasing diversity among medical students: determine what aptitude score assures that an applicant will be able to complete a school's curriculum successfully, then use other criteria - not simply who got the highest test score - to choose among all applicants who scored above that level.[276]

One doc disagrees.

The application of the principles of affirmative action to medical education is significant, implying, as it does, that their proponents' ideological commitment makes them willing to risk the graduation of incompetent physicians. Affirmative action affects the intrinsic structure of curriculum, since it provides a strong motivation for an administration to lower standards in order that as many as possible of the students admitted with inadequate grades can graduate.[277]

Appendix 21b delves briefly into the test score based selection process.


[273] Segal, D. International Journal of Health Services 14(1984):379-395.

[274] Luitz, RM and DD Nguyen. JAMA 275(1996):414-416.

[275] Bullock, SC and E Houston. Journal of the National Medical Association 79(1987):601-608.

[276] Medicine and Health 14 December 1998.

[277] Braverman, AS and B Anziska. Academic Questions 7(1994):11.

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