Anthony Williams, M.D., assistant dean for admissions (left), and Leila Amiri, Ph.D., associate dean of admissions
(JULY 27, 2023) The Supreme Court’s rejection of considering race in college admissions leaves academic leaders — including at the Larner College of Medicine — worried about how to maintain their commitment to racial diversity among their students and, subsequently, in the medical field, according to an article in AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) News.
“We’re feeling like a lot of the work that’s being done will get pushed away,” says Anthony Williams, M.D., assistant dean for admissions. “There’s still a lot of energy” for diversification, “but it’s distressing.”
“While we looked at all of [the applicants'] lived experiences, race in and of itself was a measure of diversity for us,” says Leila Amiri, Ph.D., associate dean of admissions. “We’ve removed that as a diversity measure.”
Using pathway programs in K-12 schools, especially those where students have not had histories of going into health professions, could introduce young students to medicine as a possible career choice down the road and encourage them to pursue classes in science and seek mentors in the field. “We need to reach further upstream to help build the diversity of the physician workforce,” says Amiri. “This ruling has made that even more urgent.”
Student interest groups are still “free to continue to do the type of recruitment that speaks directly to their self-identity,” Amiri notes. “Our students are our best partners in recruitment.”
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at AAMC News