Progress Along the Bumpy Road to Higher Minority Med School Admissions

    • February 1, 2000

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.