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UC Medical Schools Increase Underrepresented Minority Students

Institution making progress in increasing student diversity at its health professional schools

Among first-year students at UC medical schools, underrepresented minorities have increased to 23 percent of students this year, up from 14 percent in 2001 and outpacing California’s private medical schools and the national average.

UC has increased student diversity at its medical schools aided by its postbaccalaureate programs and a spectrum of other efforts targeting everyone from middle and high school pupils to undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

UC can't consider race or gender in admissions because of Proposition 209, which California voters passed in 1996, but UC does have programs aimed at students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those tend to include Latinos, African Americans and other underrepresented minorities.

Since 2000, UC has expanded its postbaccalaureate and undergraduate science scholars programs.

More than 80 percent of UC postbaccalaureate students get into a medical school — so far that's more than 800 students, 73 percent of whom are underrepresented minorities.

At UCSF, 94 percent of UCSF postbaccalaureate students are accepted to medical schools. While some go out of state, most return to California for residencies and many newly minted physicians practice in underserved communities, according to Alma Martinez, MD, professor of pediatrics at UCSF.

Martinez directs the UCSF School of Medicine's Office of Outreach, which was created four years ago to target students interested in health careers. "We're looking for a big variety of students," said Martinez, who also serves as executive director of PRIME-US (Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved).

For more information: UC Office of the President website

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