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Original Contribution
September 6, 2006

Effectiveness of University of California Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs in Increasing Medical School Matriculation for Minority and Disadvantaged Students

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for California Health Workforce Studies, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

JAMA. 2006;296(9):1079-1085. doi:10.1001/jama.296.9.1079

Context Many medical schools administer postbaccalaureate premedical programs targeting underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students, with the goal of increasing the number of these students matriculating into medical school.

Objective To determine whether University of California (UC) postbaccalaureate programs are effective in increasing medical school matriculation rates for program participants.

Design, Setting, and Participants Retrospective cohort study assessing 5 UC medical school postbaccalaureate programs. The cohort comprised 265 participants in the postbaccalaureate programs in the 1999 through 2002 academic years and a control group of 396 college graduates who applied to the programs but did not participate. Of the participants, 66% were underrepresented minorities, and for 50% neither parent had attended college.

Main Outcome Measure Matriculation by 2005 into a US medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Results By 2005, 67.6% of participants and 22.5% of controls had matriculated into medical school (P<.001). After adjusting for baseline student characteristics, students who participated in postbaccalaureate programs had a higher probability of matriculating into medical school in a regression model controlling for grade point average and demographic characteristics (odds ratio, 6.30; 95% confidence interval, 4.08-9.72) and in a model further controlling for preparticipation Medical College Admissions Test score (odds ratio, 8.06; 95% confidence interval, 4.65-13.97).

Conclusion Postbaccalaureate premedical programs appear to be an effective intervention to increase the number of medical school matriculants from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.