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June 18, 2003

Affirmative 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

In Reply: I am indebted to all these correspondents, some for amplifying points I tried to make in my article and some for allowing me to respond to arguments frequently raised by opponents of race-conscious decision making in undergraduate and professional school admissions.

In the former category, Dr Strugar emphasizes the limited role of GPAs and MCAT scores in predicting success as a physician and notes that many other factors must be taken into account to meet societal expectations. Dr Beltran underscores the obligation of medical schools to address the future health care needs of an increasingly diverse society, noting that social justice is an acknowledged principle of medical professionalism. Dr Ryan analyzes several putatively "compelling" arguments for upholding the right to use "narrowly tailored" affirmative actions in medical school admissions. He concludes that access to culturally competent physicians should be sufficient to convince the Supreme Court to allow Bakke1 to stand.

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