Medical School Enrollment Efforts Boost Minority Students

Nearly 70 percent of postbaccalaureate program participants in medical school by 2005

TUESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The University of California's efforts to boost medical school enrollment of minority and disadvantaged students by using postbaccalaureate premedical programs is increasing participation by these groups, researchers report in the Sept. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Kevin Grumbach, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and a colleague compared 265 participants in five postbaccalaureate programs from 1999 through 2002 with 396 college graduates who did not enroll. Sixty-six percent of participants were from minority groups.

The researchers found 67.6 percent of participants and 22.5 percent of controls were in medical school by 2005. Students taking postgraduate courses had a 6.3 times greater chance of enrolling than students who did not. "Postbaccalaureate premedical programs appear to be an effective intervention to increase the number of medical school matriculants from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups," the authors write.

In an editorial, Jordan J. Cohen, M.D., of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C., and a colleague write that these "findings are timely, because the medical profession in the United States is in great need of documented ways to achieve substantially more racial and ethnic diversity."

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