August 2021

CHPR Interim Direct Anthony Jerant is lead author of an investigation into how taking postbaccalaureate (post-bacc) coursework, or other strategies, might affect the diversity of the students in five UC medical schools, as well as overall student performance or choice of specialty once in medical school. CHPR faculty members Tonya Fancher, M.D., M.P.H., and Peter Franks, M.D., are among the co-authors of the study, which was published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

The study confirmed that “those who had completed post-bacc coursework before admission were indeed more likely to be from an underrepresented in medicine (UIM) racial or ethnic group than those who did not complete post-bacc coursework” and also that they “scored about the same on medical licensing examinations as students who did not.”

The authors also suggested that “holistic consideration of [self-designated disadvantage] and UIM status in admissions coupled with robust matriculant support may merit exploration as an alternative to [post-bacc] coursework for increasing medical school diversity.” The UC Davis School of Medicine uses such a holistic approach to recruiting medical students and is currently ranked fourth in the nation among the Most Diverse Medical Schools per the U.S. News and World Report listing.

For more information about this important study, please see Edwin Garcia’s article for UC Davis Health.