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AMA News Room

June 24, 2013

AMA: Race-Conscious School Admission Policies Needed to Help Eliminate Racial Health Disparities

For immediate release:
June 24, 2013

Statement attributable to:
Jeremy Lazarus, MD
Immediate Past President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association (AMA) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision affirming diversity as a compelling interest in education. Considering race as one factor in medical school admission policies helps eliminate racial health disparities by creating a more racially and ethnically diverse physician workforce.

“The AMA joined other health care organizations in an amicus brief urging the high court to uphold medical school admission policies that consider race, ethnicity and gender as one factor among an applicant’s many personal attributes. Increasing medical career opportunities for minorities is an important step in developing a diverse physician workforce that will help bridge the gap in racial health disparities.

“While our country grows more diverse, minority populations still lag behind on nearly every health indicator, including health care coverage, life expectancy and disease rates. Several studies show that patients who share racial or gender characteristics with their treating physicians report greater satisfaction and higher rates of medication compliance.

“The AMA will continue to support the medical profession’s ongoing efforts to provide all patients equal access to the high-quality of care that they need and deserve.”

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Contact:

Robert J. Mills
American Medical Association
(312) 464-5970

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