School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Examining the Gap Between Medical School Matriculation and Graduation Rates Amongst Self-Identified Minorities

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Purpose: Despite increasing diversity, data indicates that there is a gap between the matriculation or admission of and graduation rates amongst medical students who identify with racial or ethnic minority groups. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers experienced by minority medical students that may account for this gap.

Methods: An IRB approved online survey was created, and distributed electronically to minority medical students, residents, and practicing physicians. Information on demographics, family dynamics, academic struggles, health issues, financial difficulties and faculty diversity was collected via self-report.

Results: Participants (n = 167) who completed the survey identified as Black/African/African American (60%), Hispanic/Latinx (26%), Asian (8%), and as Other racial or ethnic minority (6%). The majority of survey participants graduated within the traditional 4 years of medical school (83%) and 17% did not. The most frequently reported reason was to pursue academic advancement (42%) which included completing a research year, dual degree, or PhD. The second reason was due to academic deficiencies (38%), either course failure or failure of a board exam. The majority of respondents (59%) also reported not having enough faculty members who were members of racial or ethnic minority groups at their medical school.

Conclusions: Our data suggests the majority of racial and ethnic minority medical students graduate within the traditional 4 years of medical school. However, if they do not, it is either due to academic advancement to become a more successful residency applicant, or due to academic issues. The majority of respondents reported that they perceive a lack of racial and ethnic minority faculty members in academics.


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Journal of the National Medical Association



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