A compromise method to facilitate under-represented minority admissions to medical school

Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2007 May;12(2):223-37. doi: 10.1007/s10459-006-0002-7. Epub 2006 Oct 14.


Ranked purely on the basis of the available reliable and valid measures, the demographic composition of incoming medical students fails to meet societal concerns regarding under-represented minorities (URM). Admissions offices are squeezed, administratively and legally, between honouring objectively measured individual merit and addressing societal needs. Until more successful recruitment and preparation of URM applicants closes that gap, compromise methods balancing those discordant ideals can be applied. Indeed, as progress over time decreases the relative societal need for affirmative action, compromise methods are mandated by no less a voice than that of the United States Supreme Court. This article proffers one such method, based upon the work of Hofstee, and demonstrates how it can be practically applied to a specific URM challenge. As perspective, past and present philosophical approaches to this discordance are categorized.

MeSH terms

  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personnel Selection
  • Schools, Medical / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Schools, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Students, Medical / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Supreme Court Decisions
  • United States