Fewer Black Men Than Black Women Apply to, Enter Medical School
While the number of medical school applicants has increased among all racial and ethnic groups in recent years, the number of black men pursing a career in the field remains low, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. According to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, black female medical school applicants and students outnumber black males by a ratio of about 2-to-1. Among most other ethnic and racial groups, the male-to-female proportion is about 50-50. Women account for 70% of blacks who apply to and are accepted in medical school, according to the Times-Dispatch. The association says that black men might be reluctant to pursue a medical career because of cost. Wally Smith, a Virginia Commonwealth University expert on health disparities, said, "I think that what happens is men, especially men coming from single-parent homes, make the decision they cannot have a career which requires years of sacrifice in school and which ultimately gives them a good income but in order to get to that income, they have to ... invest a lot of money in their education." Charles Terrell, vice president of diversity policy and programs at AAMC, said, "In terms of the black community, I think there is work we have to do on our own to recapture the fire we once had" for education. An AAMC Web-based campaign -- called Aspiring Docs, which provides information about pursuing a medical career and presents real-life examples -- aims to influence more black men to become doctors (Smith, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.