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By James L. Curtis

Affirmative motion courses have considerably replaced American medication for the higher, not just in scientific university admissions and entry to postgraduate education but in addition in bringing the next caliber of overall healthiness care to every body. James L. Curtis methods this crucial transition from historic, statistical, and private views. He tells how over the process his scientific schooling and profession as a psychiatrist and professor--often because the first or in basic terms African American in his cohort--the prestige of minorities within the clinical professions grew from a tiny percent to a much more equitable illustration of the yankee inhabitants. Advancing arguments from his prior booklet, Blacks, clinical colleges, and Society, Curtis evaluates the results of affirmative motion efforts over the last thirty years. He describes ambitious boundaries to minority entry to medical-education possibilities and the ensuing difficulties confronted via minority sufferers in receiving clinical remedy. His growth record encompasses a evaluation of 2 thousand minority scholars admitted to U.S. scientific faculties in 1969, following them via commencement and their careers, evaluating them with the careers of 2 thousand in their nonminority friends. those samples supply a tremendous examine clinical colleges that, whereas heralding dramatic development in doctor schooling and coaching chance, shows a lot room for additional development. A uncomplicated hurdle keeps to stand African american citizens and different minorities who're nonetheless constrained to segregated neighborhoods and inferior university platforms that stifle complete scholastic improvement. Curtis urges us as a country to strengthen all our human assets via a spread of affirmative motion courses, therefore enhancing health and wellbeing deal with each person. James L. Curtis is medical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Columbia college university of Physicians and Surgeons.

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Extra info for Affirmative Action in Medicine: Improving Health Care for Everyone

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It was disquieting to note that from 1975 on, first-year minority enrollment slumped to 9 percent and then to just under 8 percent by 1978, an indication that affirmative action efforts did not rest on secure ground. S. Commission on Civil Rights called attention to some of the shortcomings in the University of California defense of its affirmative action program; their criticism applied with equal force to the legal brief submitted by the AAMC (1976). Medical schools were less than candid about their intended or unintended prior exclusion of minorities, and their case would have been strengthened had they been more forthright in such a statement.

Murray was accepted in 1938, following three years of litigation. Another student, Lloyd Gaines, was admitted to the University of Missouri Law School after a legal contest also decided by the Supreme Court in 1938. As commonly was done in those days, Missouri had offered to pay T A BL E 1 . S. 9 Sources: Dietrich C. Reitzes, Negroes and Medicine, Harvard University Press, 1958; Charles E. Odegaard, Minorities in Medicine, The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 1977; AAMC enrollment data for 1977; AAMC enrollment data for 1997.

In 1969 one medical school in the New York area admitted 14 minority students, of whom only four performed satisfactorily in the first year; in the same year another school admitted eight, of whom five repeated the year and required extensive tutoring, creating serious faculty resistance (Curtis 1971, 123–24). Ten years later both schools had admitted only four to six students in subsequent years judging from enrollment data on minority students enrolled and graduating (AAMC 1982–83). Frequently, however, opinions differ on which of two applicants is more qualified, as well as on the operational definitions of such terms as qualified, borderline qualified, unqualified, or highly qualified.

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