Crossing the bridge to diversity: Success in medical school for students who are underrepresented in medicine

2005 2005

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

The medical education community has been called to respond to a persistent disparity in health care for ethnic minorities in the United States. Alleviating these disparities requires an increase in the number of medical school applicants, matriculants, and graduates who represent populations that are underrepresented in medicine (URM). This quantitative study used data collected at one public medical school to analyze the measurable factors which contribute to performance in medical school, and compared URM students to non-URM students on those factors. Qualitative analysis finds that these results extend to other accredited, public, medical schools located in the central United States.

The data analyzed by this study included: admission applications, grades earned during basic science and clinical courses in medical school, and cumulative grades. The study employed correlational methods to find relationships between these sets of variables. Given these relationships, the data was disaggregated to determine if these cognitive measurements were equally valid in understanding the performance of URM students as for the majority students. Undergraduate GPAs were mathematically adjusted to compensate for differences in undergraduate institutions. Adjusted science and non-science GPAs and scores on the three MCAT sub-tests were found to be significant predictors of performance in all medical school courses. Student's age and undergraduate major were significant for predicting basic science scores, but not clinical scores. Clinical grades were predicted from: grades earned during the first two years, and undergraduate GPAs.

These statistical models predicted the medical school grades of both URM and non-URM students equally well. The fact that URM students had lower overall grades in medical school than non-URM students was expected, due to the finding that their MCAT scores and undergraduate GPAs were also lower. There was no evidence that URM students had more academic difficulty in medical school than comparably qualified non-URM students; the lower grades for URM students was attributed to inferior pre-medical school preparation.

Indexing (details)

Minority & ethnic groups;
Health education
0727: Curricula
0727: Teaching
0631: Minority & ethnic groups
0631: Sociology
0350: Health education
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences; Education; Diversity; Ethnic minorities; Medical school; Underrepresented
Crossing the bridge to diversity: Success in medical school for students who are underrepresented in medicine
Stoddard, Hugh
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 66/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542160318, 0542160315
Walter, L. James
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
University location
United States -- Nebraska
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.