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Acceptance rates at US medical schools in 2013 reveal racial profiling and affirmative discrimination for blacks, Hispanics

medschool

The table above (click to enlarge) is an update of one I’ve posted several times before, here’s a link to the most recent CD post on this topic from April 2013. These posts in the past have generated a lot of interest and comments, so I thought it was time to do an update now that 2013 data are available. The table displays acceptance rates to US medical schools for Asians, whites, Hispanics and blacks with various combinations of MCAT scores and GPAs for 2013, based on data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

For 2013, the average GPA of all students applying to medical schools was 3.54 and the average MCAT score was 28.4 (data here). The highlighted blue column in the middle of the table displays the acceptance rates of four racial groups for applicants to US medical schools with GPAs that fall in the 3.40-3.59 range containing the average GPA, and with MCAT scores in the range between 27-29 that contains the average score of 28.4. Acceptance rates for students with slightly higher and slightly lower than average GPAs and test scores are displayed in the other columns. In other words, the table displays acceptance rates by race and ethnicity for students applying to US medical schools with average academic credentials, and just slightly above and slightly below average credentials.

Here are some observations:

1. For those students applying to medical school with average GPAs (3.40 to 3.59) and average MCAT scores (27-29), black applicants were almost four times more likely to be admitted than Asian applicants (81.0% vs. 22.5%), and 2.44 times more likely than white applicants (81.0% vs. 33.2%). Likewise, Hispanic students with average GPAs and average MCAT scores were about twice as likely to be accepted to medical school compared to white applicants (64.1% vs. 33.2%), and almost three times as likely as Asian applicants (64.1% vs. 22.5%). Overall, black (81%) and Hispanic (64.1%) applicants with average GPAs (3.40 to 3.59) and average MCAT scores (27-29) were accepted to medical school at rates much higher than the average acceptance rate of 34.6% for all students with those academic credentials.

2. For students applying to medical school with slightly below average GPAs of 3.20-3.39 and slightly below average MCAT scores of 24-26 (first column in the table), black applicants were more than 8.5 times more likely to be admitted to medical school than Asians (65.8% vs. 7.7%), and 7 times more likely than whites (65.8% vs. 9.4%). Compared to the average acceptance rate of 19% for all students applying with that combination of GPA and MCAT score, black and Hispanic applicants were much more likely to be accepted, and white and Asian applicants were much less likely to be accepted to medical schools.

3. We find the same pattern for students with slightly above average academic credentials. For example, for applicants with MCAT scores of 30-32 (slightly above average) and GPAs between 3.40-3.59 (average), the acceptance rates for blacks (93.1%) and Hispanics (83.1%) were much higher than the acceptance rate for whites (49.2%) and Asians (43.7%) with those academic credentials.

Bottom Line: Like in my previous posts, I’m concluding again that 2013 medical school acceptance rates suggest that medical schools must have “affirmative discrimination” and “racial profiling” admission policies that favor blacks and Hispanics over Asian and white students, for applicants with the same academic credentials (GPA and MCAT score). Even if factors other than GPA and MCAT scores (which are probably the two most important ones) are considered for admission to medical school, wouldn’t it still be very hard to conclude that admissions policies to medical schools are completely “race-neutral” and completely free of any “racial profiling” practices that favor blacks and Hispanics?

Here’s why the issue is important: In some states like California, Washington, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, and Michigan, racial preferences in college admissions are currently prohibited by state law. For example, Proposal 2 in Michigan, which was passed into Michigan Constitutional law by a 58% margin of voters in 2006, states:

The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and any other public college or university, community college, or school district shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

The AAMC doesn’t provide acceptance data by individual medical school, so we can’t conclude that any of the four medical schools at public universities in Michigan (University of Michigan, Michigan State, Wayne State and Oakland University) are practicing illegal “affirmative discrimination” or “racial profiling” in admissions, but it’s clear that Michigan state law, and the laws in several other states, expressly prohibit that practice. Based on national data, is there any conclusion other than the obvious one – that US medical schools are giving special preferences for admissions on the basis of race, at least for certain preferred minority groups (blacks and Hispanics) over non-preferred minority groups (Asians) and whites? When a black applicant with average academic credentials is almost four times more likely to be admitted to a US medical school than an equally qualified Asian applicant, what other conclusion is there?

43 thoughts on “Acceptance rates at US medical schools in 2013 reveal racial profiling and affirmative discrimination for blacks, Hispanics

  1. … the Senate bill “directs the secretary of health and human services to award federal grants worth billions of dollars to educational institutions that train medical-service providers.

    However, ‘priority’ for federal dollars is to be given only to those institutions offering ‘preferential’ admissions to underrepresented minorities (according to race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation and religion….). Thus, schools will be unable to compete for essential federal funding unless they adopt admission policies that intentionally and deliberately discriminate.” — Obamacare’s Racial Bigotry, Washington Times

  2. So statistically (and economists are all about the aggregates), if you personally want a better than average doctor, pick an asian one (and don’t pick a, well you know).

    So, tell me again how affirmative action helps stop irrational discrimination?

    • It helps because an overwhelming number of TV doctors are non-asian and non-white, as opposed to their actual representation in hospitals.

  3. Gidday Mark, any idea how long this has being going on ?

    I suspect I may not like the answer.

    I guess I should feel lucky that I live in the same small country town as my M.D. brother, who achieved First Class Honours in his Bachelor of Medicine. His GPA was very high.

    • I went thru this very process, and it is extremely bureaucracy-intensive, and excruciating.

      I gave up after a couple of unsuccessful attempts (despite an impressive resume from a top 20 private institution, EMS crew chief, and other relevant experience), having been impacted by affirmative action discrimination.

      Had I known about this,

      http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/495961/Bakke-decision

      I likely would have taken legal action.

      In retrospect, I quit for the right reason – HillaryCare was the contemporaneous issue, and I refused to waste more money to apply for positions to go into massive debt to work for the government.

      My doctor friends are now regretting their career choices for this very reason, and have commended me on my foresight.

  4. This is one of several reasons that myself and a few like-minded individuals no longer contribute to the university that we graduated from so looooooong ago. Instead today we collectively contribute to several scholarships that are open to our input on candidates.

  5. it would be very interesting to compare this to graduation rates and GPA’s while at med school.

    i have no idea if the data exists, but if it does, i’d love to see it.

    i also wonder if this same trend is not mirrored in residencies. do the plum residency jobs at prestigious institutions also evidence this sort of reverse discrimination? i’ll bet they do.

    • It definitely exists, but I have never sen it (I only sought it out once, when I was attempting to get in the system).

      A more interesting statistic (in my mind) would be to look at the washout rates of racially preferred students, and of those who complete their training, the subsequent malpractice lawsuit rate against them.

  6. Most shocking to me is not the racial aspect, but that roughly 50% of the students with the best MCAT & GPA are rejected. And we wonder why health care costs (particularly physician compensation) remain so high? The problem lies, as Friedman put it, in licensure. I would add that since existing doctors decide how many med schools and residency spots are available in the country, they are artificially supressing supply (hence, enhancing their own wages).

    • luther-

      while licensure surely plays a role, that is not the primary reason health care costs have risen so much and why people are disinclined to go into medicine.

      if you think about it, if doctor pay was so high, it would be attracting med students in droves.

      but it’s not.

      the work pays less and less.

      this is because of insurance and federal price fixing through medicare and medicaid.

      you have way too much demand and way too low a prices resulting in overworked docs providing less quality care and being paid little for it.

      tack on outlandish malpractice insurance (due to a bad tort system) and you get rampant costs but no profit for the docs.

      that is the problem with demand and price fixing.

      the market clears at a bad level and cannot self adjust.

      cash pay medical procedures have actually dropped in price.

      they act like a technology good.

      this is how one can see that insurance and price fixing are the key issues, not licensure.

      you need to be licensed to provide cash procedures too, yet they do not experience the same problem. this makes it seem unlikely to be the primary culprit.

      • I agree that medicare & medicaid are contributing factors to both lower quality & higher costs. And I should have been more precise in my description of licensure as “a” problem. Friedman, in the same speech to Mayo, stated, “The costs of hospital care have been going up for exactly the same reason that the amount of monies being spent on automobiles during the 1920′s and 30′s; because, in the main, the public at large has wanted to buy more medical care.” [http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/09/milton-friedman-at-mayo-clinic-in-1978.html] I agree.

        Regarding droves of applicants, roughly 24,000 medical school applicants are rejected EACH YEAR. All of these have at least some expectation of the cost/debt involved, but continue to apply because the long-term benefits outweigh the upfront investment. How is it, without artificial medical school supply suppression, that this market cannot absorb such incredible demand?

        Imagine you were selling light bulbs and the demand for them was 2X what your production ability was. Would you, or your competitors, not increase production capacity to meet some of that demand? Likely not, if you had monopoly priviledge conferred upon you by governments of all 50 states. Wiki: LCME.

        Some of the doctor supply was increased thanks to higher D.O. acceptance: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_MD_and_DO_in_the_United_States/] Look at the graph: no increase in MD student acceptance from 1980-2005 – stunning.

    • roughly 50% of the students with the best MCAT & GPA are rejected“,,,

      Well luether it seems to me that is the very reason people are being rejected out of hand…

      • Its amazing how long problems last that were started by government over reach…

        Back in 1992 law professor Lino A. Graglia wrote the following: THE “AFFIRMATIVE ACTION” FRAUD
        : The conclusion is inescapable: because of racial preferences, this country is producing doctors who are substantially less qualified than those who would be starting the practice of medicine if racial preferences were abandoned. The same society that keeps potentially useful drugs off the market until they are tested for a near-eternity, that bans carcinogens that must be consumed by the gallon to produce harm—this society consciously and deliberately graduates doctors who are less qualified to treat the sick than would be the case if admissions to medical school were based purely on ability and not on race…

  7. Luther, since the time my wife graduated medical school (1995), the number of U.S. medical schools has nearly doubled. That doesn’t account for foreign trained or immigrant physicians either.

    • It is true that the number of schools has increased, but the number of accepted students has not kept pace with population growth (even accounting for foreign supply). In fact, there were 50% more first-year medical students per capita in 1980 than currently (7.5 vs 5/100,000).

  8. “Likewise, Hispanic students with average GPAs and average MCAT scores were about twice as likely to be accepted to medical school compared to white applicants (64.1% vs. 33.2%), and almost three times as likely as Asian applicants (64.1% vs. 22.5%).”

    Gee, with multitudes of “undocumented” immigrants it’s only going to get much worse for the qualified, and way better for the preferred in the U.S.

  9. Of course. No one is honestly surprised by this.

    I started medical school in 1983. My memory is 8 of the 200 kids in our class were black. Some months later I came across a yearbook from the year before, and was astonished to see these 8 students had all begun the year before. They had all failed, and been held back.

  10. ONe of the fixes is to change the programs: In Europe and the UK it is 6 years from secondary school to a Medical Degree, no need to get a bachelors on the side. Why not move the standard medical education to this role. Note of course that medical schools have been over subscribed since the 1970s at least. But perhaps another item is the minorities may be more interested in primary care than the specialties that make one rich, thus with the current emphasis on primary care may get a preference.

    • But perhaps another item is the minorities may be more interested in primary care than the specialties that make one rich, thus with the current emphasis on primary care may get a preference.

      Why would you think that?

      • Progressives seem to believe that the darker the skin the more noble and altruistic people are. At least until they put an R behind their names at which point they descend into cavemen like all Republicans.

        • Progressives seem to believe that the darker the skin the more noble and altruistic people are. At least until they put an R behind their names at which point they descend into cavemen like all Republicans.

          You’re right, thanks Rick. I forgot that for a moment. I had also forgotten that progressives seem to believe that the darker the skin, the less capable people are of taking care of themselves.

  11. Are there data with respect to gender and medical school acceptance? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were discrimination against male applicants, too.

  12. 1. “black applicants were almost four times more likely to be admitted than Asian applicants (81.0% vs. 22.5%)”

    No. 4x more likely would be 5x as likely, which would put the black acceptance rate at 112.5%.

    “and 2.44 times more likely than white applicants (81.0% vs. 33.2%)”

    No. 2.44x more likely would be 3.44x as likely, which would put the black acceptance rate at 114.2%.

    2. “black applicants were more than 8.5 times more likely to be admitted to medical school than Asians (65.8% vs. 7.7%)”

    No. 8.5x more likely would be 9.5x as likely, which would put the black acceptance rate at 73.15%.

    “and 7 times more likely than whites (65.8% vs. 9.4%)”

    No. 7x more likely would be 8x as likely, which would put the black acceptance rate at 75.2%.

  13. Considering the 500 year headstart that whites have had on blacks in this country, from their own hand in the institution called slavery and later on, Jim Crow, a white person should be ashamed of themselves if they cannot beat out a black person for a spot in med school given all the advantages they have had in life.

    Boo-friggin-hoo….

    • Naturally, because blacks are inferior to whites, so we should give them special treatment.

      That is what you are (poorly) saying, leftist pig.

    • Your statement only makes sense if you are asserting a human life is greater than 500 yrs. Personally, I had nothing to do with Jim Crow or slavery, wasn’t even alive when they were in effect, so I feel not a smidgen of guilt.

        • @Casey
          > “White Privilege”

          So, Asians should be discriminated against because, in 1988, without any scientific data, someone once proposed “White Privilege”? How does that work?

          What if a given medical consumer wants a good doctor at a reasonable price? He should demand that blacks of any IQ should be forced into medical schools, and “Asians” of any IQ should be forced out of medical schools? How does that work?

          If you like blacks, simply for their being racially black, why don’t you just give them money? Why force them into professions they aren’t qualified for? how is that supposed to help them?

          • Blacks have and are still doing more damage to themselves than the KKK could have ever in the 10 year reign. Just go to a black neighborhood and look.

          • @nobaddog
            > Just go to a black neighborhood and look.

            According to Thomas Sowell, black neighborhoods weren’t always like that.

    • @Casey
      > a white person should be ashamed of [himself] if [he] cannot beat out a black person

      …At what level of discrimination against whites? What scientific studies indicate shame should be adopted if one happens to be born with a congenital propensity for development of an IQ probably too low for med school?

  14. The ones that should be really upset though, are the Asians. There seems to be reverse discrimination against them.
    But they have such poor bedside manners, having an Asian doc is no day in the park either.

  15. “But they have such poor bedside manners, having an Asian doc is no day in the park either.”

    Luther presents another example of racism the left uses to justify the pursuit of their agenda.

  16. People like Casey should be forced to only see Black doctors who were accepted to medical school with the lowest range of GP and MCAT scores. Eat your own cooking Casey.

  17. How on earth can this still be happening today. When a black or Hispanic person rapes someone we don’t sue all blacks and Hispanics. How on earth can all whites be held accountable for 0.1 percent of the people with ties to discrimination. how can Asians with 0 % ties to discrimination be held accountable and how are Hispanics also receiving these benefits as well. This is really sick

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