HealthDay News — According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling upholding the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions may have implications for medical schools as well.

In an amicus brief associated with the case and in other publications, the AMA acknowledges that certain segments of the US population have been slow to benefit from medical advancements. Combatting these health care disparities through projects intended to increase diversity among physicians is a strategy the AMA is actively pursuing.

The AMA claims that medical schools in the United States have obligations not just to applicants, but to society at large. This includes redressing current disparities in health care through the development of a diverse workforce.

Furthermore, the AMA says several studies have shown that patients who share racial or gender characteristics with their treating physicians report greater satisfaction and higher rates of medication compliance, making a diverse medical workforce an important strategy to combat health disparities.

“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,” Andrew Gurman, MD, president of the AMA, said in a statement.

Reference

What Supreme Court Ruling on Admissions Means for Med Schools [press release]. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association Wire; July 5, 2016.

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