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Underrepresented minority enrollment up in UC medical schools

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

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.

“What we’ve been able to do is exemplary,” said Dr. John Stobo, UC senior vice president for health sciences and services. “Diversity is critically important. We can’t educate, deliver health care and do research that advances the health of a diverse population if we don’t have a diverse work force.”

UC’s postbaccalaureate premedical programs have been particularly effective. The programs are for dedicated students who didn’t get accepted to a medical school or didn’t apply because they didn’t have quite high enough GPAs or MCAT scores and faced disadvantages such as coming from low-performing K-12 schools, lacking mentors or working long hours in college.

The programs provide intensive summer MCAT preparation, workshops on learning skills, enrollment in upper division science courses and guidance through the medical school application process. By strengthening their MCAT scores and grades in premed courses, students become more competitive applicants to medical school.

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. Read more at UC Newsroom.

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