Racism in Medical Education, Admissions

Image: Medical schools grapple with upcoming year. MedPage Today. May 9, 2020

Med Twitter is erupting over the administrative debacle of this spring/summer MCAT administration. A group of premedical students, Students for Ethical Admissions, have taken it upon themselves to do the work of collecting and documenting applicants experiences with accommodations, the MCAT, AMCAS and other issues here.  It is worth reading the open-ended comments to see the myriad structural barriers that permeate the entire process of applying to medical school.

As we have seen with UME and GME, there is also a past & present literature on how medical school admissions perpetuates racism within medical education. Few of these studies explicitly call out racism, but together, various examinations of the procedures and metrics show how applicants of color are systematically excluded.

  • Chatterjee A, Greif C, Witzburg R, Henault L, Goodell K, Paasche-Orlow MK. US medical school applicant experiences of bias on the interview trail. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2020;31(1):185-200.
  • Lucey CR, Saguil A. The consequences of structural racism on MCAT scores and medical school admissions: The past is prologue. Academic Medicine 95.3 (2020): 351-356.
  • Girotti, Jorge A., et al. Investigating group differences in examinees’ preparation for and performance on the new MCAT exam. Academic Medicine 95.3 (2020): 365-374.
  • Terregino CA, Saguil A, Price-Johnson T, Anachebe NF, Goodell K. The diversity and success of medical school applicants with scores in the middle third of the MCAT score scale. Acad Med. 2020;95(3):344-350
  • Juster FR, Baum RC, Zou C, Risucci D, Ly A, Reiter H, Miller DD, Dore KL. Addressing the diversity–validity dilemma using situational judgment tests. Academic Medicine. 2019. 94 (8 1197-1203
  • Harrison LE. Using holistic review to form a diverse interview pool for selection to medical school. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2019;32(2):218-221.
  • Grabowski CJ. Impact of holistic review on student interview pool diversity. Advances in Health Sciences Education.2018.23.3: 487-498.
  • Gay SE, Santen SA, Mangrulkar RS, Sisson TH, Ross PT, Zaidi NLB. The influence of MCAT and GPA preadmission academic metrics on interview scores. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2018;23(1):151-158
  • Capers Q 4th, Clinchot D, McDougle L, Greenwald AG. Implicit racial bias in medical school admissions. Acad Med. 2017;92(3):365-369.
  • Hadinger MA. Underrepresented Minorities in Medical School Admissions: A Qualitative Study. Teach Learn Med. 2017;29(1):31-41.
  • Wright S. Medical school personal statements: a measure of motivation or proxy for cultural privilege?. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2015;20(3):627-643.
  • Terregino CA, McConnell M, Reiter HI. The Effect of differential weighting of academics, experiences, and competencies measured by Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) on race and ethnicity of cohorts accepted to one medical school. Acad Med. 2015;90(12):1651-1657
  • Garces LM,  Mickey-Pabello D. Racial diversity in the medical profession: The impact of affirmative action bans on underrepresented student of color matriculation in medical schools. 2015.The Journal of Higher Education, 86:2, 264-294
  • Ballejos MP, Rhyne RL, Parkes J. Increasing the relative weight of noncognitive admission criteria improves underrepresented minority admission rates to medical school. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2015. 27:2, 155-162
  • Razack S, et al. Seeking inclusion in an exclusive process: discourses of medical school student selection. Medical education. 2015. 49.1: 36-47.
  • Heller CA, Hurtado Rúa S, Mazumdar M, Moon JE, Bardes C, Gotto AM. Diversity efforts, admissions, and national rankings: can we align priorities? Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2014. 26:3, 304-311
  • Davis D, Dorsey JK, Franks RD, Sackett PR, Searcy CA, Zhao X. Do racial and ethnic group differences in performance on the MCAT exam reflect test bias?. Acad Med. 2013;88(5):593-602 (Makes a structural and institutional racism argument…without using those terms)
  • Kondo DG, Judd VE. Demographic characteristics of US nedical school admission committees. 2000;284(9):1111–1113. d