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Diversity in Medical School Admissions

Last Updated August 24, 2023

On June 29, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled on two cases — Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina — concerning the consideration of an applicant’s racial or ethnic background in the higher education admissions process. The lower courts in both cases had upheld the schools’ processes. The Supreme Court has reversed the lower courts’ decisions in the Harvard and UNC cases.

The AAMC has issued the following statement in response to the court's decision: 

AAMC Deeply Disappointed by SCOTUS Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions

The AAMC filed an amicus brief urging the court to refrain from a broad prohibition on awareness of an applicant’s race, which for many applicants is a significant part of their personal story. Moreover, any action that comes with the risk of decreasing diversity in the health professions and limiting the ability to address existing and projected physician workforce shortages is contrary to improving our country’s public health.

The AAMC is committed to strengthening the diversity of the medical student body and the physician workforce. These court cases are just one example of the many attacks at the state-, local-, and federal-level against diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across all aspects of education. Supporting racial and ethnic diversity in the health professions — spanning classrooms, labs, and clinical settings — enriches the educational experiences of all medical and health professions students and the teaching experiences of faculty, and it is essential to improving the overall health of our nation. In fact, diversity cultivates an innovation mindset, catalyzes creativity and discovery, and enhances complex problem-solving, prediction, and forecasting.

The AAMC will continue to update this page with resources for the academic medicine community.

AAMC member institutions with questions or comments can contact holisticreview@aamc.org

For media inquiries, please contact press@aamc.org

Overview of the Cases

Resources for AAMC Members

General Resources

Scholarly Articles

Academic Medicine has published several articles about the use of race in admissions:  

MedEdPORTAL has published a resource on mitigating bias in the admissions process: 

Additional scholarship about the use of race in admissions and the importance of diversity in health care: