Makomed's Weblog

What is a Medical Minority in Regards to Med School Application?

Posted on: May 12, 2007

My Question: Dear Sir or Ma’am, I was just wondering if Filipinos are considered part of the medical minority? Thanks.

Their answer: Thank you for your inquiry, and apologies for getting back to you so late. Nonetheless, I hope that you find the following information helpful.

The AAMC no longer has a definition of “underrepresented minorities (URM),” which consisted of four designated racial and ethnic groups (Blacks, Mexican Americans, mainland Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans). In June 2003, the AAMC adopted the current definition of “underrepresented in medicine.” An important feature of the AAMC’s current definition is that it no longer identifies specific populations as underrepresented or as minorities. Rather, it provides a tool for medical schools to build and assess institutional diversity in which race and ethnicity can be components among other components, such as personal attributes, experiential factors, and demographics. Each medical school decides for itself what its policies are with respect to diversity, including race and ethnicity. For example, a particular institution may decide based on its own mission and goals that students who are Filipino would serve the diversity interests of the school. The same school may decide that, in addition, its diversity interests are served by encouraging enrollments of students from traditionally underrepresented groups, such African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Another school might have completely different missions and goals and, therefore, different policies.

The AAMC has a URL on the definition. You can find it at:

Again, I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, let me know.

Ruth Beer Bletzinger
Director, Division of Diversity Policy and Programs
AAMC 2450 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: 202-828-0585
Fax: 202-862-6282


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