A longitudinal study of 3,756 U.S. medical students provides evidence that racism in medical schools influenced their decisions on whether to practice in minority or underserved communities.
"Structural racism is deeply embedded in all areas of society, and medical education is no exception," according to the study in the August issue of Academic Medicine.
To examine the effect of racism in medical school, researchers surveyed students at 49 unidentified U.S. medical schools in their first semester and again in their final semester.
"This study provides evidence that racism manifested at multiple levels in medical schools was associated with graduating students' decisions to provide care in high-need communities," the article concludes. "Strategies to identify and eliminate structural racism, and its manifestations in medical school are needed."