Increasing Diversity in California’s Medical Schools


Tim Bates, Susan A. Chapman

Jul 2008

A racially and ethnically diverse physician workforce is widely seen as a key component in the effort to address health disparities related to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Program directors, faculty, and medical students all share the perception that a diverse student body significantly enhances the experience of medical school and advances the effort to develop a culturally competent physician workforce. However, neither the current make-up of California’s physician workforce nor those enrolling in its medical schools come near to reflecting the state’s racial and ethnic diversity. This brief presents background information on the lack of diversity in California medical schools and discusses steps being taken to address the disparities.