Research Alert

Newswise — A new Yale-led study reveals that those applying to, and being accepted to, U.S. medical schools have in recent years increasingly come from households with higher incomes.

In a study of deidentified data from the American Medical College Application Service, researchers found that from 2014 to 2019, the percentage of applicants from families making $200,000 or more per year increased, while the percentage of medical students coming from families making $75,000 or less per year decreased. Comparing acceptance rates, the team found that students in the lowest income bracket - household income less than $50,000 per year - were half as likely to be accepted to medical school as those in the highest bracket.

Researchers warn a lack of diversity will have downstream effects on patient care. The medical student body is not reflective of our patient population,” said Mytien Nguyen, a PhD student at Yale and lead author of the study. “For low-income patients, there are structural barriers they have to navigate in order to receive care. And in medical school, we don’t receive training on how to navigate those systems, like how to apply for financial assistance, for example. Essentially, we’re not generating a medical workforce trained to provide care to our most vulnerable populations.”


Journal Link: JAMA May-2023

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JAMA May-2023