After 40 years, medical schools are admitting fewer Black male or Native American students

In what some are calling a “persistent failure” of medical schools to improve diversity, a comprehensive new analysis going back 40 years shows the number of students from the most underrepresented groups in medicine —  Black males and Native American and Alaskan Native men and women — has declined.

While Black male medical students accounted for 3.1% of the national medical student body in 1978, in 2019 they accounted for just 2.9%. Without the contribution of historically Black medical schools, just 2.4% would be Black men. The number of Native American students also declined, accounting for just a fraction of 1% of the nation’s roughly 22,000 medical students in 2019.

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