AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and AAMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer David A. Acosta, MD, issued the following statement in support of the American Heart Association’s response to a Journal of the American Heart Association article advocating an end to race-conscious policies for undergraduate and medical school admissions:
“We applaud the recent statement by the American Heart Association (AHA) denouncing the views expressed in the article by Norman C. Wang, MD, MS published by the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) that advocated for ending race-conscious policies for undergraduate and medical school admissions and argued against affirmative action initiatives, asserting, without evidence, that Black and Hispanic trainees in medicine are unqualified. The article lacked factual accuracy, was selectively referenced, misrepresented individuals and organizations cited, and misinterpreted data to support the author’s opinions. We also applaud the decision of the JAHA editor-in-chief for retracting the article and for agreeing to conduct a formal investigation of the journal’s peer-review and publication processes.
As we said in our June 1 AAMC Statement on Police Brutality and Racism in America and Their Impact on Health, the academic medical community must not be bystanders and must speak out when faced with views that perpetuate racist beliefs and stand in the way of progress. We must take action to eliminate inequities, including systemic racism, in our care, research and education of tomorrow’s health professions workforce.
We wholeheartedly endorse AHA’s stated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion as an essential foundation to their mission, and their investment in building a diverse health care and scientific research community. The AAMC stands in solidarity with the AHA on this and welcome opportunities to work with them to eliminate barriers, including structural racism, that have historically excluded people of color and other marginalized groups from opportunities in medicine and science. It is our hope that this incident will encourage other medical and scientific journals to “look in the mirror” and investigate their own peer-review and publication processes, and consider the diversity of their own editorial board, that may prevent this from occurring again in the future. We all need to do better.”
The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through medical education, patient care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; more than 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 179,000 full-time faculty members, 92,000 medical students, 140,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Additional information about the AAMC is available at aamc.org.