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A recent article on the American Medical News website focuses on the decrease in African-American male applicants, however after reviewing the results of a report conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) it is noticeable that African-American females medical students have issues of their own.

The report revealed that the number of black male applicants proportionate to all medical school applicants decreased from 2.6 percent to 2.5 percent from 2002 to 2011, while both Asian and Hispanic male medical school applicants increased.

Black female students are having very similar issues. Not only did the proportion of African-American females medical school applicants drop from 5.2 percent to 4.8 percentage, but the proportion of matriculates went from 4.5 percent to 3.8 percent. Although, in 2011 63 percent of new black MDs were women, so although the drops in numbers are a concern, black females still represent the largest number of black medical students and doctors.

These numbers create concern for the black community. The shortage in black physicians can make access to healthcare even more challenging for low-income minorities, since many black medical students make a commitment to serve these neighborhoods; 55 percent say they plan to do so. Also, the AAMC projects that by 2025 there will be a shortage of 130,000 doctors of all races and backgrounds. Rahn K. Bailey, MD, president of the National Medical Association, which promotes the interests of African-American physicians and patients says, “Society does better with balance all the way around… We need everybody. We need all hands on deck.”

So if you’re are wondering what to encourage your child to be when he grows up, a doctor should be at the top of the list.

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