Medical schools are admitting fewer Black male and Native American students, according to a report from The New England Journal of Medicine.
In 1978, Black men made up 3.1% of medical students; as of 2019, they made up 2.9%. Native Americans made up nearly 1% of medical students in the country in 2019.
“It is absolutely dismal and appalling and quite frankly unacceptable,” anesthesiologist and Associate Dean of Admissions for Ohio State University Wexler Medical Center Demicha Rankin told Stat News.
In comparison, Asian men made up 10.7% of medical students in 2019, a noticeable increase from 2.1% in 1978.
Historically, Black medical schools have contributed to the education of Black medical professionals, such as Howard University’s College of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine.
According to the study:
This lack of progress is brought into sharp focus by the fact that 15% of Black men who are currently enrolled are enrolled in historically Black medical schools. Without these schools, the percentage of enrollees who are Black men would have remained a constant 2.4% for the duration of the study period.
Despite the overall decrease, medical students have seen an increase in Black applicants because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Medical schools saw a 43% increase in Black applicants. Only 5% of doctors in the U.S. are Black, BNC reported.
“We have a crisis in our country and maybe this pandemic created the opportunity for us to change that trend,’ Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, Ph.D. said in February