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February 18, 1998

Affirmative Action and Special Consideration Admissions to Medical School

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor


Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998

JAMA. 1998;279(7):508-510. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-7-jbk0218

To the Editor.— Surely the main conclusion that we should learn from Drs Davidson and Lewis1 is not that affirmative action works but that selection criteria other than MCAT scores and GPAs can be used to select medical students. In this respect the faculty admissions committee at University of California, Davis, should be commended for developing admissions criteria that were able to select students who were not just academically bright but who had other positive attributes that enabled them to complete their academically challenging course and qualify as physicians when compared with those who were selected on academic merit alone. Many admissions committees would like to replicate this elusive goal; unfortunately, the authors did not tell us more about the criteria that were used to select these special consideration admissions.

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