Progress Along the Bumpy Road to Higher Minority Med School Admissions

From 1992 to 1998, three New Jersey higher education institutions—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), Rutgers University, and Seton Hall University—developed a program, ACCESS-MED, to increase the number of minority undergraduates pursuing a medical degree.

The program provided counseling, tutoring, an eight-week summer enrichment program, and day-long medical conferences at the participating schools. Highly qualified college seniors could take part in a transition year program, taking courses at RWJMS that earned both undergraduate and medical school credit.

Key Results

  • In 1997–98, the final full academic year of the grant period, 130 undergraduates participated in ACCESS-MED. This was lower than expected; the project director attributed this to the program's high academic standards and poor high school preparation in the sciences.

  • During the three academic years covered by the second grant (1995–96, 1996–97, and 1997–98), a total of 75 participants graduated from college. Forty-two students were admitted to medical school, two to dental school, and one to osteopathy school (for a total of 45, or 56% of the graduates).

  • Over the six academic years covered by the two grants (1992–98), 98 ACCESS-MED participants graduated from college and 69 (70.4%) were accepted to medical school.

  • Over the course of both grants, four ACCESS-MED enrollees received undergraduate scholarships or fellowships while in the program.