Context Although concerns continue to be raised about the diversity of the US
physician workforce, there has never been a nationwide survey of both the
sex and underrepresented minority (URM) composition of medical school admission
Objective To document US medical school admission committee membership in several
demographic domains, including sex and URM (African American, Mexican American,
mainland Puerto Rican, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Native Alaskan)
Design Mailed survey.
Setting and Participants Deans or directors of admission at 85 US medical schools that were members
of the Association of American Medical Colleges (response rate, 70%).
Main Outcome Measures Prevalence of 1999-2000 school-year committee members in demographic
categories, such as sex, URM status, physician or medical student status;
Results The overall ratio of men to women on admission committees was 1.77 to
1. On average, 16% of committee members were from URM groups. Physicians with
URM status comprised 8% of committee membership; 51% of committees had 1 or
0 URM physicians. Seventy-four percent of committees had at least 1 medical
student; medical students comprised 15% of total membership. Ninety-one percent
of committees operated on a volunteer basis.
Conclusion Although representation of women and persons with URM status on medical
school admission committees has improved since 1972, URM membership, in particular,