Student body racial and ethnic composition and diversity-related outcomes in US medical schools

Somnath Saha, Gretchen Guiton, Paul F. Wimmers, LuAnn Wilkerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Many medical schools assert that a racially and ethnically diverse student body is an important element in educating physicians to meet the needs of a diverse society. However, there is limited evidence addressing the educational effects of student body racial diversity. Objective: To determine whether student body racial and ethnic diversity is associated with diversity-related outcomes among US medical students. Design, Setting, and Participants: A Web-based survey (Graduation Questionnaire) administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges of 20 112 graduating medical students (64% of all graduating students in 2003 and 2004) from 118 allopathic medical schools in the United States. Historically black and Puerto Rican medical schools were excluded. Main Outcome Measures: Students' self-rated preparedness to care for patients from other racial and ethnic backgrounds, attitudes about equity and access to care, and intent to practice in an underserved area. Results: White students within the highest quintile for student body racial and ethnic diversity, measured by the proportion of underrepresented minority (URM) students, were more likely to rate themselves as highly prepared to care for minority populations than those in the lowest diversity quintile (61.1% vs 53.9%, respectively; P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 10 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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