AMA Welcomes High Court’s Support of Race-Conscious School Admission Policies

Court ruling essential to help eliminate racial health disparities

CHICAGO - June 23, 2016 - The American Medical Association (AMA) applauds today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin affirming diversity as a compelling interest in education. The ruling in favor of considering race as one factor in academic admission policies allows medical schools to take a more active role against racial disparities in health outcomes by helping create a more racially and ethnically diverse physician workforce.

“The AMA supports efforts to bring an end to any inequalities in health care and has twice joined in amicus filings with other health care organizations 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,” said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. “The goal of 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 is currently dedicating resources to numerous efforts aimed at addressing health care disparities, including developing and implementing an initiative focused on reducing inequities in hypertension control and diabetes prevention . The AMA has also funded several member medical schools of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium to implement projects intended to increase diversity among physicians and reduce health inequity. 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, and welcomes collaborations with interested organizations to advance these efforts.

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Media Contact:
Robert J. Mills
AMA Media & Editorial
(312) 464-5970
robert.mills@ama-assn.org

About the AMA
The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation’s physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America. For more information, visit ama-assn.org .

About Us

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: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-issues.page 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: http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/about-ama/moving-medicine-forward.pdf.

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