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May 22, 1996

Minorities in Medicine: the Flexner Report-Reply

JAMA. 1996;275(20):1548. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530440025032

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In Reply.  —We concur with many of the sentiments expressed by Dr Hasbrouck. The Flexner Report played a significant role in the closure of a number of both majority and minority medical schools. Moreover, the report was certainly a product of its times, reflected both in its patronizing tone regarding black medical schools and black physicians and in its tacit acceptance of the apartheid that characterized much of turn of the century America. However, Flexner's assertion of the centrality of high standards of scientific and academic rigor in judging medical education is hardly a matter of dispute now. We assert in our Editorial that (1) affirmative action as currently practiced in our nation's medical schools does not compromise quality, and (2) the most important barrier now to the admission of more minorities to US medical schools is the fact that our nation's precollege education system is failing too many minority