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Medical schools use outreach programs to make student bodies more diverse

Washington Post, June 8, 2010

Medical school officials have long said they want a broad range of backgrounds among their students, yet they have had trouble attracting more students from traditionally underrepresented groups. Today, about 7% of 77,722 medical students nationwide are African American and about 8% are Hispanic, according to the Web site of the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 2008, the association issued a "roadmap to diversity" to help medical schools broaden their applicant pools and student bodies while steering clear of potential legal problems. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits medical schools, has also weighed in, saying the schools must make "ongoing, systematic and focused efforts" to attract students from demographically diverse backgrounds.