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After Affirmative Action: Diversity at California Medical Schools

September 2008 Analysis in Brief

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In 1996, Californians approved Proposition 209, a ballot initiative codifying the elimination of raceconscious admissions at the state’s public institutions. The University of California’s Board of Regents had banned such admissions a year earlier by issuing a Special Policy 1 (SP1). Similar ballot initiatives have been adopted in Washington state (1998) and Michigan (2006).

The impact of these ballot initiatives on racial and ethnic diversity in medical schools has been difficult to determine, although Grumbach, Mertz, and Coffman found “dramatic reductions in the number of [underrepresented minority students] who are applying to, gaining admission to, and matriculating in medical schools in California.” This Analysis in Brief (AIB) extends their data set through 2007 and examines changes in in-state minority applicants accepted by and matriculating to California medical schools.

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