The Supreme Court handed down a decision Thursday that many colleges, universities and medical schools had feared.
with 6-3 Buyer Reflecting the court’s conservative majority, the justices said it was unconstitutional for colleges to consider race as a factor in admissions. The jury heard two challenging cases. The use of race in admissions at the University of North Carolina and Harvard College.
Colleges and universities, including medical colleges, urged the court to weigh race as a factor when institutions strive to improve diversity.
Association of American Medical Colleges and more than 40 other health associations presented amicus brief To consider the case in the introduction of the race to the court.
Health care organizations condemned the high court’s decision and said it could undermine decades of work to improve disparities in colleges, universities and medical schools. He said improving diversity in medical schools in particular is critical to increasing the diversity needed in the nation’s physician workforce.
The decision could hamper efforts by medical schools to improve their diversity, said Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, president of the American Medical Association.
“This decision will limit medical schools from including race and ethnicity in different admissions policies and will translate into a larger physician workforce,” Ehrenfeld said in a statement. “Diversity is important to health care, and this court decision deals a serious blow to our goal of increasing medical opportunities for people who have historically been marginalized and marginalized.”
“As our country becomes more diverse, historically marginalized communities lag behind on every health indicator,” Ehrenfeld added. “A physician workforce that reflects national diversity is key to eliminating racial inequities.”
“We are incredibly disappointed by the verdict,” George C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said in a statement.
“Without positive action, we risk turning back the clock on the progress that has led to improved outcomes and a diverse public health and healthcare workforce,” said Benjamin. press release.
“Affirmative action policies and programs directly address public health and health care workforce disparities, with many professionals of color working directly in communities that suffer from some of the worst health disparities and outcomes,” he said. “With a diverse public health and health care workforce, we can perpetuate years of systemic racism and poor health outcomes for our communities of color.”
Medical schools are making progress in improving their diversity. In recent years, although many believe, there is much work to be done.
Women make up more than half of medical students, and medical schools are attracting more black, Asian and Hispanic students, according to the AAMC.
At the same time, the The physician workforce does not reflect the diversity of the country as a whole.. Nearly two out of three doctors (63.9%) are white, 6.9% of doctors identify as Hispanic (regardless of race), and 5.7% identify as black or African American, according to AAMC 2022. Physicians’ special information report.
Harvard University, which is one of the cases in which the Supreme Court ruled, has issued a statement that it respects the court’s decision, but it has announced that it will continue to pursue individuals from different directions.
For nearly a decade, Harvard’s leaders have vigorously defended an admissions system that, as two federal courts have ruled, fully respects longstanding precedent. press release. “In the coming weeks and months, we will determine how we can protect the court’s new precedent, our core values, by drawing on the talent and expertise of our Harvard community.”
Yale University President Peter Salovey in A Message He told the campus community he was “deeply troubled” by the decision, but was determined to improve the institution’s diversity.
“The court’s decisions may indicate a new interpretation of the law, but Yale’s core values will not change,” Salovey wrote. “Today, I reaffirm that Yale is fully committed to creating an inclusive, diverse and outstanding learning environment. to accept students of all races and ethnicities; And to ensure that our university is a place of diverse ideas, knowledge and experiences.
The University of Michigan said it was “deeply disappointed by the court’s decision” but said it would continue its efforts to create a more diverse community.
“We continue to believe wholeheartedly that our commitment to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” the university said. press release.