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Acad Med. 2012 Nov;87(11):1535-9. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31826d6220.

Are disadvantaged and underrepresented minority applicants more likely to apply to the program in medical education-health equity?

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  • 1University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, California 92093-0606, USA.



To determine whether underrepresented minority (URM) students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds were more likely to apply to a combined MD-master's degree program designed to train physician leaders in providing care to underserved communities.


University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine applications from the 2008-2010 incoming classes were analyzed. American Medical College Application Service and UCSD secondary application data were used to build a logistic regression model to determine which characteristics were most associated with applying to the MD-master's degree Program in Medical Education-Health Equity (PRIME-HEq).


Of the total UCSD applications reviewed from disadvantaged students, 61.5% also applied to PRIME-HEq (319/519) compared with 23.5% of nondisadvantaged students (917/3,895, χ = 326.665, P < .001). Of URM student applications, 55.6% also applied to PRIME-HEq (358/644) compared with 23.3% of non-URM students (878/3,770, χ = 284.654, P < .001). Results of a backward stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that disadvantagedstatus was the greatest predictor of applying to PRIME-HEq (odds ratio = 3.15; 95%confidence interval = 2.50-3.966; P< .001).


URM students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds were more likely to be interested in a curriculum designed to train them to work with underserved communities. These results suggest that PRIME-HEq, or similarly focused programs, may influence URM and disadvantaged students' application decisions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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