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

Statement attributed to: Jeremy A, Lazarus, M.D., Immediate Past President, American Medical Association    

“The American Medical Association 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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Media Contact:
Robert J. Mills
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-5970

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About the American Medical Association (AMA) Since 1847 the American Medical Association has had one mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. Today, the core strategy used to carry out this mission is our concerted effort to help doctors help patients. We do this by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues. In 2011 our strategic plan focuses on five areas that encompass the central elements in health system reform: Access to care Quality of care Cost of health care Prevention and wellness Payment models Vist the AMA's 2011 strategic plan at: These topics represent the major areas of emphasis in which the AMA carries out its mission in the current environment. Our proposed actions are not only directed at solving reform issues at the policy level, but also at helping physicians adapt to—and adopt—changes in a productive way. To learn more about how the AMA is moving medicine forward, read our flyer at: