Minorities Underrepresented despite Pharmacy School Gains

By Conlan, Michael F. | Drug Topics, May 9, 1994 | Go to article overview

Minorities Underrepresented despite Pharmacy School Gains


Conlan, Michael F., Drug Topics


While minorities have made significant enrollment gains in schools of pharmacy, they remain seriously underrepresented, as they are in all other health professions. A study by the Institute of Medicine found that minority students comprised 12.2% of the first-year pharmacy students in 1991-92, the latest statistics available. Minorities represented 4.9% of the freshman class of 1973-74--the first year when pharmacy figures were compiled--said IOM, part of the National Academy of Sciences.

"All minorities have made significant enrollment gains in schools of pharmacy," the study said. "Minority enrollment has continued to rise steadily." Some 22.2% of all Americans are minorities: African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian.

"A fundamental cause of the underrepresentation of minorities in the health professions is an inadequate number of academically qualified and nearly qualified students interested in health careers," said the report, Balancing the Scales of Opportunity. "Many past programs and strategies have relied too heavily on supplementary enrichment and recruiting programs for advanced premedical and postgraduate students. They have failed to address the root cause--the need to develop the applicant pool at earlier stages of the educational process. …

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