Medical schools across the country have struggled in recent years to attract students from underrepresented minority groups, and the University of Missouri School of Medicine isn’t immune to the issue. Just one African-American student was among the school’s 97 graduates this year, and four are expected to graduate next year.
A backlash against affirmative action quotas has contributed to the problem, as has the challenge of maintaining financial aid opportunities for students from underrepresented minority groups.
In 2007, the school didn’t have a single black student in its freshman class. The next year, the national accreditation committee for the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association told MU officials to find a way to diversify the medical school.
MU responded with programs aimed at attracting minorities throughout Missouri, and it has more than doubled the acceptance rate of historically underrepresented minorities, from eight in 2009 to 18 in 2013. But plenty of challenges remain.