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Black Students Comprise 2.8 Per Cent Of Enrollment at U. S. Medical Schools

By Jeff Magalif

Although over 11 per cent of the U. S. population is black, only 2.2 per cent of the country's physicians-and 2.8 per cent of its medical students-are black, according to 1969-70 statistics.

Over half of the black med students in 1969-70 were enrolled in one or another of the two predominantly black U. S. medical schools: Howard (Washington, D. C.) and Meharry (Nashville, Tenn.). The percentage of black students at 99 other schools was under 1.5.

These statistics are given in two articles published last year in the Journal of Medical Education: "Minority Enrollment in U. S. Medical Schools.... "by Dennis B. Dove, and "... Opportunities in Medicine for... Minority Students" by Dr. Bernard W. Nelson, Richard A. Bird, and Gilbert Rogers.

The record for Ivy League school is only slightly better than for other med school. In 1969-70, Cornell Med School had a black enrollment of 0.8 per cent, Dartmouth 1.0, Pennsylvania 2.8. Columbia 3.3, and Yale 3.4. Harvard has more than ten per cent minority enrollment.

The number of black students at the 99 predominantly white medical schools is increasing: in 1968-69 they had only 124 black first-year students, last year 320, and this year about 490.

But 67 schools last year-and over 40 this year-had three or fewer blacks in their first-year class.

Eight schools still have one or no black students. They are Baylor, California (Irvine), Louisville, Marquette, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont.


Blacks are underrepresented elsewhere in medical schools, too. According to a bulletin released a year ago by the Association of American Medical Colleges, 34 U. S. med schools had no black administrators and 30 had no black admissions committee members.

The bulletin-entitled "Minority Student Opportunities in United States Medical Schools, 1970-1971"-also noted that 53 schools had no special financial aid for minority students, 21 did not waive application fees for poor students, and 34 schools which required on-campus interviews of all applicants did not give financial aid for the trip.

Frederick J. Fox, pre-med adviser in Adams House, said yesterday that a school's reluctance to accept blacks often is linked with its having few blacks in important positions, and that a school's failure to attract black applicants often is linked with its not providing needed financial aid.

He pointed to 14 schools-including Dartmouth-which show a strong correlation between a small number of black students and some of these factors.

Southern Schools

The schools are Arkansas, Baylor, Bowman Gray (Winston-Salem, N. C.), Dartmouth, Georgia (Augusta), Hahnemann (Philadelphia), Louisiana State, Louisville, Marquette, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (Dallas). Texas (Galveston). and West Virginia.

All 14 had 1.4 per cent or less black enrollment in 1969-70, 12 reported no special financial aid for minority students, 11 had no black administrators and 9 no black admissions committee members, and 8 did not give money for required interview trips.

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