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Affirmative Action Bans Lead To Decline In Medical School Enrollees Of Color

Affirmative action bans could be harmful to your health. That's the conclusion of a recent study focusing on the impact of affirmative action bans on medical school enrollments.

Eight states have implemented the bans through voter initiatives, executive orders or court cases. The study examines the impact of bans in six states: California, Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Florida and Texas. (The ban in Texas is no longer in place.)

Dr. Liliana Garces is an assistant professor of higher education at Pennyslvania State University and the co-author of the study.

She said the analyzed data covered a 19 year span from 1993 to 2011. Garces said it included a four-year period prior to the implementation of the first ban in Texas and three years following the most recent ban in Nebraska.

Garces said the findings show affirmative action bans have led to about a 17 percent decline in first-time medical school enrollees who are underrepresented students of color.

She also said such a decline is significant and seriously impedes efforts to further racial and ethnic diversity in the field of medicine.

Another fact Garces doesn't want overlooked is that 35 percent of the nation's research-ranked public medical schools and 29 percent of primary-care ranked public medical schools call states with affirmative action bans home.

She said that in itself leaves the medical profession facing a serious obstacle in addressing the health care crisis facing the nation.

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