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Letters
June 18, 2003

Affirmative Action in Medical School AdmissionsAffirmative Action in Medical School Admissions

Author Affiliations
 

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(23):3084. doi:10.1001/jama.289.23.3084-a

To the Editor: Diversity has become such a touchstone of sanctity and value that one can hardly raise any form of objection to its place in college and medical school admissions. However, almost all of the debate and discussions about diversity regularly becomes directed at ethnic and racial diversity. Dr Cohen1 centered this discussion by insisting on its value in medical school education and focusing on these 2 dimensions. Many other issues, however, can lay a claim to inclusion in the selection of future physicians. Some of these, like compassion and sensitivity, are obvious. But a host of other conditions would surely contribute to diversity that we rarely grant much of a voice. A truly diverse class should include the neurotic, the disabled, and those with varied sexual preference. Surely some patients could be better served by homosexual or lesbian physicians, but Cohen makes no brief for their consideration. We have no way now of knowing if any of those particular characteristics make for good or bad physicians, but they certainly make for diversity.

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