Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Medical School Acceptance Rates, 2008-2010

The chart above (click to enlarge) is an update of this CD post from last summer, showing medical school acceptance rates for Asians, whites, Hispanics and blacks based on data from the Association of American Medical Colleges for the years 2008-2010 (aggregated).

For 2010, the average GPA of students applying to medical schools was 3.53 and the average total MCAT score was 28.3, and those averages are highlighted above in blue.  Therefore, the chart above shows the acceptance rates for students applying to medical schools with average GPAs and MCAT scores, and the acceptance rates for those students with slightly higher and slightly lower than average GPAs and test scores.  In other words, this selected sample displayed above would represent students in the middle range of the distribution of those applying to medical school.  Here are some observations:

1. For those students applying to medical school with average GPAs and MCAT scores, black applicants are almost three times more likely to be admitted than their Asian counterparts, and more than twice as likely than their white counterparts.  

2. For students applying to medical school with slightly below average GPAs of 3.20-3.40 and slightly below average MCAT scores of 24-26, black applicants are more than 8 times as likely to be admitted as Asians, and more than 5 times as likely as whites. 

Bottom Line: There are apparently ongoing affirmative action policies for admission to U.S. medical schools that favor blacks and Hispanics over Asian and white students.  For example, a black applicant with average grades and a below average MCAT score is slightly more likely to be admitted to medical school (78.1%) than an Asian student with both higher than average grades and higher than average MCAT score (73.7%).  Further, an Hispanic student with a below average GPA and a below average MCAT score is only slightly less likely to be admitted to medical school (38.3%) than a white student with both above average GPA and MCAT score (40.3%). 

29 Comments:

At 1/11/2011 7:26 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

As if there weren't enough objectionable parts to the Democrats' government health care bills on Capitol Hill, it now turns out that the plans actively promote racial discrimination. ...

... 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, December 30, 2009

 
At 1/11/2011 9:12 PM, Blogger hswalj said...

This is disturbing, although not the least bit shocking. Based on this alone, it would be a sad, but rational, decision to avoid black docs.

 
At 1/12/2011 2:07 AM, Blogger Doc0 said...

Let me ask you this: how many black people do you see in an average medical school class of 100? 1, 2, maybe 3...

Being white and having gone to both a preppy white Catholic school and an inner city, predominately black school....I can say the real issue here should be primary education. There is a disparity in the QUALITY of the education for predominately black inner city schools. Sure the home environment plays a roll, but why should those schools have a crappies education as well to further widen the divide?

 
At 1/12/2011 4:09 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

The solution is pretty clear -- on all paperwork, self-identify as black, regardless of race.

DARE someone to challenge you on it.

Cripes, I can even justify it:

My Iowa-born WASP GGF referred to me, Half-Italian that I am, in swaddling clothes, as "that nigger baby" (pardon the use of the word, but that was his description).

 
At 1/12/2011 4:21 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Sure the home environment plays a roll, but why should those schools have a crappies education as well to further widen the divide?

Dude, the state of Florida has a rule that schools should be "graded" each year. If a school receives a "failing" grade more than three years in a row, the parents are free to enroll their kids in ANY district school they wish to.

There is a school in the Orlando area which wound up with such a designation.

Two things:
1) I've seen pictures of it. Teachers wearing t-shirts that said "F for Fantastic". Really? REALLY? That's the message you want to send kids, teach?

2) There was a whole swathe of parents in the school who, notably, did NOT take their kids out. Why? According to the parents, it was because they had teachers there that taught class in Haitian. Not English. Haitian. WTF did you come here for, if it wasn't to give your kids a better life than they could possibly get in Haiti? Why the F*** would you screw up your kid's chances by making classes in HAITIAN a priority over quality education in general...? If people are going to be f***ing stupid, then there is little to nothing to be done about it.

It's like people who complain about the gang violence in Compton, or something, and whine about how tough it is to keep your kids out of gangs in those areas.

I have a MARKEDLY simple solution for anyone with this problem:
***F...ING MOVE***.

Leave. Get outta Dodge. Pack up your kit bag and take a walk.

ANYWHERE.

Get your poor kids OUT of that environment!!!

Stop looking to see if someone else will "fix" your @#$$#^#^ problems. They don't care, and, even if they do, someone ELSE who doesn't care will rig things to their benefit and not yours.

Yeah, it'll be TOUGH. Do you care about your kids' chances, or not?

Even if you have to sell everything you own, whatever it is, and go move to the boonies somewhere, your kids will likely be far better off than if you stayed in a rathole like Compton.

It's not easy, no -- but how the hell do you think most peoples' ancestors got here?

THEY WENT LOOKING FOR A BETTER LIFE ELSEWHERE.

'Nuff said. Quit whining. MOVE.

 
At 1/12/2011 9:51 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"There are apparently ongoing affirmative action policies for admission to U.S. medical schools that favor blacks and Hispanics over Asian and white students."

That's one conclusion, but there could be factors besides race, GPA, and MCAT scores determining medical school acceptance. The entire selection process would have to be examined to analyze any acceptance disparities.

 
At 1/12/2011 1:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That's one conclusion, but there could be factors besides race, GPA, and MCAT scores determining medical school acceptance."

For example...?

 
At 1/12/2011 2:46 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.

For example: Knowing someone. Fraternities. Interviews. Hobbies. Clubs and volunteer work. Who knows, but drawing a conclusion that correlation means causation is a common mistake I would not expect to see on an economics’ blog without a disclaimer.

You would need all the inputs to define any process including any constraints/parameters and the mission of the process. Even with well-defined processes and well-defined inputs, you can easily have stochastic outputs (or more correctly, outcomes in this example).

It’s possible that the selection process is designed to favor “disadvantaged” groups, too. In that case, the evidence would seem to indicate the process is working as designed. If that’s the case, then, you have to decide if you want to change the process because any formal problem resolution process would tell you don’t have a problem to solve.

Your process flow chart would be like this: Mission - Strategies/Actions - Inputs - Outputs - Outcomes- Measurements to design - and a feedback loop with adjustments if your measureables are not deliverable.

 
At 1/12/2011 3:48 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Here's from the AAMC Website. It appears that GPA and MCAT scores are not 100% of the acceptance factors to medical school by design. You can disagree with their mission, but not that their strategies seem to be working toward accomplishing their mission.

It's always difficult to work your ass off to obtain successful outcomes doing something you don't agree with or you wish were different. All situations are not win-win, but you nevertheless have to work to obtain those goals if you take the project on. You don't always get input into defining the mission or goals; you still have to deliver.

"Admissions Initiatives

The AAMC continues to introduce and offer many initiatives to broaden the medical school applicant pool, and improve the selection process to create a diverse, capable, and caring physician workforce for the 21st century.

The AAMC believes that the work of expanding and diversifying the physician workforce and ensuring that all Americans have access to competent, caring doctors depends on many factors in the medical student selection process."

 
At 1/12/2011 5:13 PM, Blogger Alex said...

These numbers are fairly misleading. There are by far less African American and Hispanic students applying to medical school than Whites and Asians. As a medical student at a top 10 institution, there are only 4 African Americans in my entire class, but near 30-40% are Asian (I am white).

I'd like to see % of medical students of each race who are currently medical students. I think that will paint a much more accurate portrayal of the racial bias in our overall system.

Moreover, acceptance to med school isn't just a numbers game. There's so much more that goes into an applicant (I'm involved with admissions) that we take into consideration.

Being a good doc is also not a numbers game. I know some incredibly intelligent, high-scoring people and I FEAR for their patients, whereas I know some people who aren't the best test takers who will be brilliant doctors.

While there are clear disturbing statistics about racial bias against white males that need to be addressed (high school graduation, college graduation, etc), medical school admission rates is not one of them.

 
At 1/12/2011 5:55 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

Racial and ethnic preferences still exist in many medical schools despite the US Supreme Court ruling against such a policy in U. of California vs. Bakke. The justification for racial preferences is the belief that black, Hispanic, or Native American physicians are more likely to work in underserved areas such as inner cities, rural communities, and Indian reservations. However, that belief was shown to be false back in the 1980s: minority preference physicians were no more likely to practice in underserved areas than white, male physicians.

When I was on the admissions committee at the U. of Nebraska Medical Center in the early 1990s, we gave tremendous preference to applicants from rural Nebraska based on the similar belief that they would go back to their underserved communities. We admitted very marginal students who turned out to be LESS likely to practice in rural areas than students who grew up in cities or suburbs. However, despite data that clearly refuted the rural-to-rural belief, the Dean and the Chancellor continued the rural preference policy.

@Walt G: You are completely wrong. Medical school admissions committees pay little attention to the factors you listed. If they did, then admissions would favor whites, who are more likely to have volunteered in hospitals or nursing homes, belonged to clubs or fraternities, held leadership positions in college, etc. Most medical school admissions committees are blatantly exhibiting race- and ethnicity-based biases in the selection process. They try to cover that up by spouting nonsense about "atypical life experiences" or "unique perspectives," but they aren't fooling anyone whose brains contain more than four neurons.

 
At 1/12/2011 6:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt says: - "For example: Knowing someone. Fraternities. Interviews. Hobbies. Clubs and volunteer work."

So, you're suggesting that better social connections, better interview skills, and being more well rounded due to more extracurricular activities is working to favor Black and Hispanic students in medical school acceptance despite lower GPAs and test scores?

You're funny.

When the stated goal of a government program is to promote higher enrollment levels of certain minority students in medical school, you can safely bet that higher acceptance rates are a result of that policy.

How do you suppose those students who wouldn't otherwise be accepted feel, knowing that they are only there because of their ethnicity, and not as a result their own efforts? Do you think it's fair to put them in a situation where they will be forced to compete against better qualified students?

 
At 1/12/2011 6:32 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I dislike quotas based on race for many reasons...that said, I'd like to make two points that are only based on my personal beliefs:

1. If you looked at my GPA from my first two semesters, one might have easily branded me as retarded. My professional success and the opinions of others who know me tell a different story.

2. As long as the med schools don't allow obviously unqualified docs to graduate, I don't know how much should I care about their GPA going in.
Frankly, I couldn't care less if my doc got a D in French and creative writing.

 
At 1/12/2011 6:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"As long as the med schools don't allow obviously unqualified docs to graduate, I don't know how much should I care about their GPA going in. Frankly, I couldn't care less if my doc got a D in French and creative writing."

You're right, of course, that grades aren't everything, and may not even be important to eventual success. They are, however, one of the few measurements available for assessing incoming students and their potential.

A D in French or creative writing might indicate an unwillingness to focus and work hard at something that's of less interest.

 
At 1/12/2011 7:55 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Dr. T.,

I was exploring that 100% of the factors of acceptance were not GPA and MCAT scores. The mission of the AAMC is to have a diverse selection of students, so if the GPA and MCAT scores does not accomplish that goal, it is understandable, even if someone does not like it, that other factors are used.

The questions: does the process meet its goals, and does the process meet its mission?

 
At 1/13/2011 7:18 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H said: "Do you think it's fair to put them in a situation where they will be forced to compete against better qualified students?"

They will have an opportunity to compete by being accepted into medical school, but whether they can achieve a favorable outcome by passing their classes and licensing exams to become a doctor will be entirely up to them. I have to believe the ones who can leap all those hurdles will make very fine doctors.

It’s obvious the mission of the organization is to have acceptance policy that creates a more diverse class of medical students. All of their strategies should be aimed to achieve their mission because that is what board of directors, program managers, and directors do or get fired. If you don’t like strategies that are trending towards achieving the mission, the best way to change them is to offer strategies that achieve the mission more effectively, more efficiently, or prove they are illegal. You can also attempt to influence the mission of the organization, but that usually means you have to be an insider or join a group of people that have money and corresponding political clout.

 
At 1/13/2011 12:04 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Our government is plainly insane.

 
At 1/13/2011 2:04 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt G. said: - "...whether they can achieve a favorable outcome by passing their classes and licensing exams to become a doctor will be entirely up to them. I have to believe the ones who can leap all those hurdles will make very fine doctors."

You're absolutely right. Those who can leap all those hurdles will likely make fine doctors. However, those with lower GPAs and test scores have already demonstrated that they are slower runners. Why would anyone expect them to suddenly begin running faster?

To enter them in the race anyway, because of their skin color, or for any other reason, is to set them up for failure. We can reasonably expect such a policy to result in a correspondingly higher dropout rate among those preferentially admitted.

"It’s obvious the mission of the organization is to have acceptance policy that creates a more diverse class of medical students."

Actually, I believe the mission of the organization is to provide medical training and education for students who hope to become doctors. One of the organization's goals is to "create a more diverse class of medical students", and by implication, a more diverse crop of capable doctors. They have policies in place designed to accomplish that goal, but whether or not they are meeting it is questionable. It appears that actual enrollment by these favored students is lower than acceptance rates. Maybe they are smart enough to realize they don't want to spent that many years competing against faster runners.

Something else to ask is how many minority students applying to medical schools are truly disadvantaged in some way, and therefore deserving of some extra help despite lower qualifications.

 
At 1/13/2011 2:31 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"Something else to ask is how many minority students applying to medical schools are truly disadvantaged in some way, and therefore deserving of some extra help despite lower qualifications."

Whether a student deserves anything is not relevant. If my job is to bake a chocolate cake (mission = more diverse student body), and I bake the best chocolate cake ever made (measureable goals from legal and non-quota strategies), I have done my job even if you don't like chocolate cake.

If you think it was unfair because I did not make your favorite vanilla cake, that is your problem and not the baker's problem. You can always attempt to join the board of directors to change what type of cake is made, join a union for collective bargaining power, hire a lobbyist, or maybe file a lawsuit if you believe the mission and/or strategies are illegal. I doubt an individual who just likes vanilla cake will have much power to change anything.

 
At 1/13/2011 4:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Whether a student deserves anything is not relevant. If my job is to bake a chocolate cake (mission = more diverse student body), and I bake the best chocolate cake ever made (measureable goals from legal and non-quota strategies), I have done my job even if you don't like chocolate cake."

You are right, Walt, I forgot who I was responding to for a moment. If your job is to make chocolate cake, and you do just that, you are golden. It doesn't matter if your job has any value, only that you are doing what you are told to do. It must be nice to not have to think.

I guess I shouldn't have asked YOU to consider whether students deserved help, I should remember that you aren't concerned with such things. I should have instead addressed "anyone interested in the subject". That would have excluded you.

It's interesting that you responded to what, in my opinion, is the least important part of my argument. Have you nothing to say about the rest?

 
At 1/13/2011 5:20 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.

If it was the least part of your argument, why did you close with it? If you have a weak part of an argument, you should try to bury it in the middle :)

I'll agree that if acceptance to medical school is based 100% on GPA and MCAT scores, the selection process is broken and should be fixed. A computer can be programmed to do the selecting from those criteria. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Some people might think more factors should be considered.

I think it is interesting that the average students are discussed as being passed over for medical school acceptance and not the top students. If I were a middling white student who was passed over for medical school, would it be more productive to look inward and fix myself by studying harder for the MCAT or bitch that I got screwed over by the black guy? The problem is not always with other people or processes.

 
At 1/13/2011 5:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"It must be nice to not have to think."

Ron H.,

I always think about what I am trying to accomplish even if I don't like or agree with the assignment. It's easy to do work that you like very well, but the real test is how well you can do something you don't like or necessarily agree with. Sometimes you have input into decisions; sometimes you have to implement without input.

 
At 1/16/2011 1:40 AM, Blogger MMarin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/16/2011 1:51 AM, Blogger MMarin said...

Disregard my earlier comments.


I think you too heavily look at test scores as measures of knowledge/skill. I think they say a limited amount about a student. The real question is, does it predict success in medical school that well? http://www.fairtest.org/healthy-medical-school-admissions
GPA is a bit different, but still.

It's that big of a tragedy if affirmative action policies allow for minorities to be admitted with lower 'qualifications.' It is very beneficial for schools to maintain diversity, and admissions rates don't necessarily give the best picture of the actual make-up of a school.

What I'm curious about: how many hispanics are applying and what is their composition in the schools?

 
At 1/30/2012 3:59 PM, Blogger Future Doc said...

I've seen these statistics before, and they are in fact the truth. However, I'd like to point out that although the bias in these statistics clearly show purposeful "quota-type" admissions policies. There is more to the "black-effect". There are several Historically Black Colleges and Universities which have associated medical schools. In terms of the national numbers a majority of the black students end up at these schools. In the remainder of institutions, blacks are very poorly represented as are Hispanics. Whites & Asians have an abundant representation. 1,182 Black, 1,203 Hispanic, 3,859 Asian, & 11,060 White students matriculated. As we see, even with aggressive policies Blacks and Hispanics are still very much underrepresented.

As for the person who mentioned now having reason to avoid black doctors. The reason for you avoiding black doctors has not changed because of these statistics. Further, the reason why medical school rankings are arguably arbitrary, is because medical schools all provide EXACTLY the same curriculum. Students must take the same national tests after first, second and third years. Before becoming licensed, each state ensures that their doctors know exactly the same complex information, which ironically enough is not based on undergraduate gpa or performance on mcat. At least try to pretend to be open-minded folks because after all, "There are lies, damn lies and Statistics"...lol

 
At 2/13/2012 3:10 PM, Blogger Walter said...

If you read the source data at the AAMC, which you kindly linked in your post, you will find that:

The acceptance rate for hispanics, overall, is 48.6%
The acceptance rate for whites, overall, is 47.3%
The acceptance rate for asians, overall, is 44.6%
The acceptance rate for blacks, overall, is 39.6%


Overall, whites enjoy a more favorable acceptance rate than either blacks or asians, and hispanics win by 1.3%.

In light of this 1.3% acceptance rate differential, there is this:
Whites represent 37,104 accepted applicants, Hispanics 4,694, Blacks 4,126.

 
At 2/19/2012 8:51 PM, Blogger Steve Sailer said...

Of course there are quotas. Or, as the Supreme Court wants us to call them, "goals for holistic admissions."

 
At 7/14/2012 12:34 PM, Blogger BoxerRob said...

Students with better test scores are, in fact, smarter. Smart people outperform the less smart folks, be it med school or poker. Using non academic criteria in admissions produces lower quality doctors. Everybody knows it. School staff are tired of hearing 'racist' and 'nazi' when they use objective criteria and few blacks cut it. Who can stand that? So they cover their eyes and swing wide the door. Residency programs are less influenced by 'social needs'. 'Board Certified' actually means something. 'MD'...not so much.

 
At 1/15/2013 2:02 AM, Blogger A. Suki said...

"As for the person who mentioned now having reason to avoid black doctors. The reason for you avoiding black doctors has not changed because of these statistics."


Thank you! Its only mildly amusing to hear racist folks find reasons to justify their particular brand of racism.


BTW... to the OP: misrepresenting your statistics to incite aggression is egregious, especially when the actual hard numbers, found listed via your very link, are so telling of the real truth.

 

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