More Ethnic Minorities Enrolling in Medical School
The "minority makeup at medical schools nationally has changed, with more foreign-born and first- and second-generation descendants of India, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean claiming more slots," the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
According to the Tribune-Review, the increase in minority enrollment in medical schools in the past 10 to 20 years is not apparent by just looking at statistics, as medical schools "generally track only citizenship and 'under-represented minorities' and can discuss such trends only anecdotally." Each school establishes its own definition of under-represented minorities. Students from China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and other Asian nations are not counted as minorities and are often counted as Caucasians, the Tribune-Review reports.
In western Pennsylvania, more Hispanics are enrolling in medical schools. West Virginia has attracted a large population of Pakistani and Indian immigrants in the past few decades because of a health services corps recruitment program through the state, Ann Chester, assistant for social justice at West Virginia University's Robert E. Byrd Health Sciences Center, said. Indians and Asians have a strong presence at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, according to Chentis Pettigrew, the school's assistant dean for student affairs and director of diversity programs.
Pettigrew added that most foreign students stay in the U.S. and often practice in underserved communities, such as predominately black and Hispanic neighborhoods. "I don't think it's any question there is a national trend," Herbert Diamond, chair of West Penn Hospital's Department of Medicine, said, adding, "I think it really depends on what population is living in your area" (Roebuck, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 7/5).