Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Acceptance Rates at US Medical Schools in 2015 Reveal Ongoing Discrimination Against Asian-Americans and Whites

By Mark Perry

The table above (click to enlarge) of US medical school acceptance rates by race is a revised and updated version of one I’ve posted several times before, here’s a link to the most recent CD post on this topic from January 2015. The series of CD posts on medical school acceptance rates by race for various MCAT scores and GPAs has generated a lot of interest and comments in the past, so I’m posting on the topic again with new data for the 2015-2016 academic year that just recently became available from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Specifically, the table above displays: a) acceptance rates to US medical schools for Asians, whites, Hispanics and blacks with various combinations of MCAT scores and GPAs for the academic years 2013-2014 through 2015-2016 (aggregated for the three years), and b) average MCAT scores and average GPAs by race/ethnic group for matriculants to US medical schools in the fall of 2015.

For the 2015-2016 academic year, the average GPA of all students applying to medical schools was 3.55 and the average MCAT score was 28.3 (see AAMC data, Table A-16). The highlighted dark blue column in the middle of the table above displays the acceptance rates to US medical schools for applicants from four racial/ethnic groups for applicants with: a) GPAs that fall in the 3.40 to 3.59 range that includes the average GPA of 3.55 and b) MCAT scores in the range between 27 to 29 that includes the average MCAT score of 28.3. Acceptance rates for students with slightly higher and slightly lower than average GPAs and test scores are displayed in the other columns. In other words, the table above displays acceptance rates by race/ethnicity for students applying to US medical schools with average academic credentials, and just slightly above and slightly below average academic credentials.

Here are some observations based on the new AAMC data:

  1. For those applicants to US medical schools last year with average GPAs (3.40 to 3.59) and average MCAT scores (27 to 29), black applicants were almost 4 times more likely to be admitted to medical school than Asians in that applicant pool (81.2% vs. 20.6%), and 2.8 times more likely than white applicants (81.2% vs. 29.0%). Likewise,Hispanic applicants to medical school with average GPAs and MCAT scores were more than twice as likely as whites in that applicant pool to be admitted to medical school (59.5% vs. 29.0%), and nearly three times more likely than Asians (59.5% vs. 20.6%). Overall, black (81.2%) and Hispanic (59.5%) applicants with average GPAs and average MCAT scores were accepted to US medical schools for the 2015-2016 academic year at rates (81.2% and 59.5% respectively) much higher than the 30.6% average acceptance rate for all students in that applicant pool (see bottom of highlighted dark blue column).
Read the rest here.

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