By David Pittman, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: February 10, 2013
Fewer black men are applying to, accepted to, and attending U.S. medical schools despite an increase in the number of overall applicants and uptick in matriculation among other minorities, a report found.
Black applicants were the second most populous demographic behind whites in the late 1970s. There were more black applicants than Asians and Hispanics combined.
But in 2011, first-time African-American applicants were surpassed by Asians and Hispanics, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) said.
Compared with 1977, the number of Hispanic applicants more than tripled in 2011 (3,459 versus 955) while first-time Asian applicants went from 966 to 8,941 when comparing 1977 to 2011.
The number of first-time applications from blacks grew a mere 36% (2,361 in 1977 to 3,215 in 2011).
In fact, black women outnumbered black men applicants in 2011 nearly two to one, the AAMC said.
"Black or African-American males are applying to, being accepted to, and matriculating into medical school in diminishing numbers, which speaks to the increasing need for medical schools to institute plans and initiatives aimed at strengthening the pipeline," stated the report, called "Diversity in Medical Education."
"In response, initiatives have been launched throughout the country in hopes of reversing this trend and producing more graduates. Medical schools are already investing in pipeline programs, but it is clear that additional targeted efforts are necessary," according to the report.
While first-year enrollment was up 18.4% overall from 2002 to 2012 as the AAMC said last fall, that hasn't translated into a great number of more black men.
Non-whites accounted for nearly half of U.S. medical school applications in 2011, the AAMC said. The number of applications from whites has dropped roughly 26% since the late 1970s.