Effectiveness of University of California postbaccalaureate premedical programs in increasing medical school matriculation for minority and disadvantaged students

JAMA. 2006 Sep 6;296(9):1079-85. doi: 10.1001/jama.296.9.1079.


Context: Many medical schools administer postbaccalaureate premedical programs targeting underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students, with the goal of increasing the number of these students matriculating into medical school.

Objective: To determine whether University of California (UC) postbaccalaureate programs are effective in increasing medical school matriculation rates for program participants.

Design, setting, and participants: Retrospective cohort study assessing 5 UC medical school postbaccalaureate programs. The cohort comprised 265 participants in the postbaccalaureate programs in the 1999 through 2002 academic years and a control group of 396 college graduates who applied to the programs but did not participate. Of the participants, 66% were underrepresented minorities, and for 50% neither parent had attended college.

Main outcome measure: Matriculation by 2005 into a US medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Results: By 2005, 67.6% of participants and 22.5% of controls had matriculated into medical school (P<.001). After adjusting for baseline student characteristics, students who participated in postbaccalaureate programs had a higher probability of matriculating into medical school in a regression model controlling for grade point average and demographic characteristics (odds ratio, 6.30; 95% confidence interval, 4.08-9.72) and in a model further controlling for preparticipation Medical College Admissions Test score (odds ratio, 8.06; 95% confidence interval, 4.65-13.97).

Conclusion: Postbaccalaureate premedical programs appear to be an effective intervention to increase the number of medical school matriculants from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Cohort Studies
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate* / statistics & numerical data
  • Education, Premedical* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups* / statistics & numerical data
  • Program Evaluation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schools, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Universities