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Underrepresented in Medicine AAMC Criteria

Are you underrepresented in medicine? Many URM’s, when applying to medical school, find themselves deciding whether or not to mention that they are URM. Will it help or hurt them in the application process? Their race is not underrepresented, but their ethnicity is. What then should they do?

Other students, being of a multicultural background, have to sometimes make the decision to choose one ethnicity over another, especially in secondaries when the option to choose more than one race is not always provided.

Finally, students who are from less well known countries are technically underrepresented, but do not fit into the URM category for one reason or another.

To answer a lot of these questions, the AAMC has released a statement about who is and who is not considered a URM. Below is their statement:

[On March 19, 2004, the AAMC Executive Committee adopted a clarification to its definition of “underrepresented in medicine” titled The status of the new AAMC definition of ‘underrepresented in medicine’ (PDF) following the Supreme Court’s decision in Grutter.

The AAMC definition of underrepresented in medicine is

“Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.”

Adopted by the AAMC’s Executive Council on June 26, 2003, the definition helps medical schools accomplish three important objectives:

  • a shift in focus from a fixed aggregation of four racial and ethnic groups to a continually evolving underlying reality. The definition accommodates including and removing underrepresented groups on the basis of changing demographics of society and the profession,
  • a shift in focus from a national perspective to a regional or local perspective on underrepresentation, and
  • stimulate data collection and reporting on the broad range of racial and ethnic self-descriptions.

Before June 26, 2003, the AAMC used the term “underrepresented minority (URM),” which consisted of Blacks, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans (that is, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), and mainland Puerto Ricans. The AAMC remains committed to ensuring access to medical education and medicine-related careers for individuals from these four historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.]

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Categorised as: Minority Medical Students


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