Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date



New England Journal of Medicine


Volume 351, Issue 26

Inclusive Pages



Minority Groups--education; School Admission Criteria; Schools, Medical; Underserved Populations


Twenty-five percent of the U.S. population is black, Hispanic, or Native American, whereas only 6.1 percent of the nation’s physicians come from these backgrounds. Students from these minority groups simply don’t get into medical school as often as their majority peers, which results in a scarcity of minority physicians. This inequity translates into suffering and death, as documented by the Institute of Medicine. Poorer health outcomes in minority populations have been linked to lack of access to care, lower rates of therapeutic procedures, and language barriers. Since physicians from minority groups practice disproportionately in minority communities, they are an important part of the solution to the health-disparities quandary.


Comment in:

Medical education in Cuba. [N Engl J Med. 2005]

Open Access


Included in

Health Policy Commons



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