Statement attributable to:
Omar T. Atiq, MD, FACP
WASHINGTON June 29, 2023 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) was disappointed to see the Supreme Court decision issued today that rules against the use of affirmative action as a part of a college or university’s comprehensive admissions process. ACP believes that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive physician workforce is crucial to promoting equity and understanding. Diversity in the health care workforce not only benefits underserved patients but improves care for all patients. Evidence has shown diverse populations in educational and medical training settings improves learning outcomes by increasing active thinking and intellectual engagement skills and increases understanding of and empathy for diverse cultures. A diverse physician workforce should include individuals of all races, including Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and other persons affected by discrimination to better reflect the population for whom we care. Considering race as one of the many determining factors used when considering an individual’s admission to an education program can be an important way to combat the harm that systemic racism and discrimination has in the United States.
Affirmative action is one means of helping to promote that diversity. Medical schools and other institutions of higher education should consider a person’s race and ethnicity, alongside other factors that are often considered like socioeconomic status and geographic location, as part of evaluating applicants to counter both past and current discrimination. ACP will continue to advocate for policies that can help to increase diversity and promote equity.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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