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Medical school enrollment among Black men, Native Americans declines

A comprehensive new analysis of 40 years of medical school admissions data found the number of Black men and Native American and Alaskan Native men and women has declined (Source: “After 40 years, medical schools are admitting fewer Black male or Native American students,” Stat News, April 28).

The two are the two most underrepresented in U.S. medical schools, and their numbers are getting worse, according to a study that was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. While Black male medical students accounted for 3.1% of the national medical student body in 1978, in 2019 they accounted for just 2.9%. Without the contribution of historically Black medical schools, just 2.4% would be Black men. The number of Native American students, both male and female, also declined, accounting for just a fraction of 1% of the nation’s roughly 22,000 medical students in 2019.

“It is absolutely dismal and appalling and quite frankly unacceptable,” said Demicha Rankin, an anesthesiologist who serves as associate dean of admissions for The Ohio State University Wexler Medical Center, where 25% of students come from underrepresented minority groups.