Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: In response to Dr Cohen,1 I believe that the question of affirmative action
can be boiled down to this: do the means justify the end? That is, does the
goal of having an ethnically diverse physician workforce justify racial discrimination
in medical school admissions? Cohen makes cogent arguments for why an ethnically
diverse physician workforce is a laudable goal. However, there is no question
that affirmative action is based on racial discrimination. When skin color
is given higher weight than academic qualifications and medical experience,
it is clear that racial discrimination is being practiced. This racial discrimination
is occurring behind the closed doors of the medical school admissions committee
and far from the eye of the public. There is essentially no recourse for the
parties discriminated against, since judgments of the committee are final.
The only recourse is to the Supreme Court, an almost insurmountable barrier.
Ramseyer L. Affirmative Action in Medical School AdmissionsAffirmative Action in Medical School Admissions. JAMA. 2003;289(23):3084. doi:10.1001/jama.289.23.3084-a