Doctor Challenges U. Kentucky Medical School’s Poor Track Record on Minorities

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By Lachin Hatemi M.D.

University of Kentucky (UK) has seen the future of higher education, and it is in the numbers of out-of-state students – preferably the black out-of-state students.

Kentucky had cut its financial support for its public colleges over the last decade, which was offset by rapidly rising tuition rates. But funding trends have gotten worse, and the cost of college education is rapidly becoming cost-prohibitive.

Faced with declining state funding, the University of Kentucky wants to attract more out-of-state students to fund an ambitious expansion of university facilities and its athletics department. University President Eli Capiuloto believes that better dorms and athletic programs will advance one of the school’s highest priorities: attracting a larger number of out-of-state students paying higher tuition.

College of Medicine at University of Kentucky is an exception, unlike the rest of the university it does not have to advertise to get a lot of applicants. Over the last decade, medical schools are becoming very popular destinations among the youth due glut of lawyers and pharmacists and a competitive job market. The medical schools also benefitted from higher demand for doctors from the expanding healthcare system. These trends had been spurring a very large number of nonresident applicants to the UK Medical School from willing to pay the hefty $57,000 in annual tuition – almost three times what Kentucky residents pay.

Funding is not the only issue University of Kentucky Medical School had been battling. Attracting and retaining an adequate number of black medical students also a problem and the UK College of Medicine is facing a lot of criticism about its minority recruitment policies. The numbers of black medical students at UK were so low that NAACP had to sit down with medical school officials to address the issue.

One way to attract and ensure enough blacks apply UK’s medical school is to build pipeline programs and mentoring at high school and college levels. Existence of minority pipeline programs to produce qualified black applicants is a positive step; however, there is no guarantee that such programs will produce any results. Over the last decade, there were very few applicants enrolled to UK College of Medicine from such pipeline programs, which makes us believe such programs were built only to satisfy accreditation bodies such as LCME with no true intentions of producing any viable applicants.

UK College of Medicine has no incentive to attract black medical students from Kentucky. If minority numbers matter, there is no distinction between a black in-state student and a black out-of-state student. Minority statistics would essentially stay the same if UK decides to only accept nonresident black students, which is essentially what they have been doing for the last 5-6 years.

Much of the argument for University of Kentucky’s recruitment of minority students centers on the idea of how state and federal scholarships are distributed. Most of the black students recruited by UK are excluded from state-funded scholarships due to their out-of-state status and some cannot benefit from federal grants and loans due to their non-resident immigration status.

Shambra Mulder, the education chair of Kentucky’s NAACP, remains skeptical that UK has good faith in recruiting black medical students from Kentucky.  She is aware that most of the current black students at UK College of Medicine are born in Africa or recent immigrants who pay exorbitant tuition fees to have the privilege of being a medical student at UK.  Such a double standard makes us question the medical school’s true intentions.

Due to existing policies implemented by school administrators and failure of minority recruitment and retention efforts results in a tragic picture. A great majority of the black medical students end up paying much more than white medical students due to their out-of-state status, and they are systematically excluded from scholarship opportunities as a result of it.  We recommend Department of Education to closely investigate University of Kentucky’s internal policies about minority recruitment. Minority recruitment trends at UK are very worrisome and very similar to apartheid.

Lachin Hatemi is a physician living in Buffalo, New York. His interests include human rights, racial equality and interfaith dialogue. You can reach Lachin at lachinhatemi@gmail.com. 

19 Responses to Doctor Challenges U. Kentucky Medical School’s Poor Track Record on Minorities

  1. I bet they don’t have any trouble recruiting Blacks for their Basketball team. If they accepted Black Americans (with Scholarships) from any State, they would increase their Medical enrollment too.

  2. Same of racist c**p. Black racists in this instance. Let’s face it, you must be BOTH smart and well-educated to get into medical school. Avoiding the headed argument of intelligence, nobody can deny that the average black person has far less education than the average white person. You must take courses like organic chemistry and physics — and get A’s — to even have a chance to get into medical school. Go to most any non-HBCU university and see how many blacks are in those classes. VERY FEW. Now, count how many that are in those classes who actually get A’s in those classes. EVEN FEWER. That’s not racist, just a fact that most students, regardless of race, don’t get A’s in those classes.

    Now, University of Kentucky is a state school, which is required to have 90% of it’s medical school students be Kentucky residents (most states have similar rules). Blacks make up only 8% of Kentucky’s population, so even if black people performed exactly the same as white students graduating from high school and grades in college and took the same classes in college as whites, you would still expect to see 92% of the students form Kentucky in the UK med school being white. But the TRUTH is that black people are more likely to drop out of high school (thus no chance of getting into med school) and less likely to upper-level physics and chemistry courses than white people, or any other race for that matter.

    I know for a fact that UK medical school has LOWER STANDARDS for in-state black applicants, meaning a black applicant will get into med school when a white applicant with the same grades and same MCAT scores will not even have a chance to get in. Let’s just be honest here. If black people would stop majoring in basketball, and start acting like a white nerd, they might be getting into med school more often. Affirmative Action might have it’s place. But I for sure don’t want my heart surgeon to be there simply because “they had to let a black guy into medical school.” I want the smartest, bestest, heart surgeon on the planet — I could care less what color his skin is.

    • Racist DELIBERATELY lower standards to make it look like they are sincerely trying to find good black candidates, and to put a blight on our entire race.

      WE have tons of black american candidates qualified to be in medical school but they will walk right by that QUALIFIED BLK AMER candidate to hire an inferior fool who they know WILL FLUNK OUT.

      • AND THEY hire the inferior black over a qualified black because they know that the inferior person, knows he is in inferior, and makes a great BOY to be used to hold other blacks down.

        • The very ignorant Jesse Jackson, who thinks he is the leader of the world, applauds the fact that nigerians BRAG about having more nigerian docs in the U.S. than blk American docs, and he thinks that is good for blk america.

  3. Also, the handful of smart, black, science-degreed students from Kentucky are heavily recruited by prestigious out-of-state private schools, such as Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN. A former valedictorian of my mostly-white high school was one of those people. That’s right, I personally know a black man who went to my high school that is now a medical doctor. And he did not got to UK; he had a better option available to him. That black man was very SMART. He did not play on the basketball team. His daddy was a bootlegger (no, I’m not kidding), but made sure his son hit the books so he would have a good life. And he did. Oh, did you notice, I said his DADDY made sure he hit the books? You see, his father was married to his mother, and they both raised that young man right. His mamma wasn’t a welfare queen, and his daddy wasn’t a deadbeat. So many young black kids these days have their futures ruined before the ever start in life because their mothers are s***s on welfare and their fathers are nowhere to be found. Perhaps of black parents would, well, be parents, in 20 years this so-called “problem” of not many black kids getting into med school will no longer be the situation.

  4. @ me112233

    Some of what you have written has a measure of credibility however I lay emphasis on the word ‘some’.

    First of all I have an issue with the terminology you use concerning “Black racists”.
    As you purport to be someone who is educated I would suggest that you look more profoundly into the word ‘racist’ and if you do you will find that the term cannot be assigned to Black people as to be racist one would have to be in a position to exercise predominant power within political, social and economic paradigms, of which Black people are not in a position to execute for collective purposes.

    I find that in life the very thing that you try to avoid, can be the very same thing that you have to face, and I say this because of your “Avoiding the headed argument of intelligence..” comment.
    Well just mentioning this and what follows consequently in your posting would naturally invoke some kind of a response, and I’m sure youre not silly enough to think that your actions, albeit by words, wouldn’t solicit a reaction.

    Its conclusively apparent to even the simple-minded in society that one’s academic prowess would have to be at the highest standard when it comes to medicine in particular.
    Its interesting that you use “non-HBCU” institutions to demonstrate your point regarding the lack of Black students in “organic” courses such as physics and chemistry as it would have been more informative to highlight the numbers of Black students IN HBCUs who take up the very same subjects you highlighted rather than comparing them to the external educational institutions of America.

    What you need to do is look at the statistcal data of medical students in HBCUs, its obvious that such colleges/universities are not in mass numbers compared to the mainstream ones but researching and cataloguing statistical data from HBCUs would definintely be a good starting point in ascertaining accurate educational trends of students within this institution.

    It has been widely referenced by many Black academics for the past 35-40 years that Affirmative Action was indeed a led-weight around the proverbial neck of the Black community and although it may have helped a considerable amount of us to advance in society it has however contributed to the aminosity that some whites had, and still have against us.

    Affirmative Action stifled any form of community independence and the LBJ administration/government knew this beyond a shadow of a doubt however, as we were perceived as citizens they figured that something had to be done to deal with societal imbalance, that they themselves initiated, concerning Black people without it negatively impacting the general economy…just think what would have happened if Black people decided to start producing their own goods and start establishing their own banks, hospitals, corporations en-masse.

    You speak of standards being lowered for African American to attend UK medical school, I would suggest you read the latest OECD report on skills gaps and the literacy & numeracy level of America (and also Great Britain) compared to far eastern countries such as Japan, South Korea, China and European countries like Sweden, Finland.
    You would see that America is near the bottom of the list on both counts so we can safely derive from those statistics that educational standards have dropped across the board ie, where whites are also concerned.

    In conclusion, some of the greatest Americans in history and in the present grew up among the greatest societal odds while there are also many who have come from a ‘privileged’ background waisting away on various vices such as alcohol-abuse, crack-cocaine and indugle in anti-social or criminal behaviour.
    Its all relative, and its not necessarilly predisposed by colour or race!

  5. Addendum

    The following stats are from thinkhbcu.org;

    Little Known HBCU Facts

    HBCUs enroll upwards of 370,000 students and graduate a significant share of all African Americans receiving degrees. While comprising only three percent of the nation’s 3,688 institutions of higher learning, the 105 HBCUs are responsible for producing approximately 23 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, 13 percent of all master’s degrees, and 20 percent of all first professional degrees earned by African Americans annually. Black colleges and universities contribute to the continuing rise of black intellectuals, professionals, and creative artists which is so evident throughout American society.

    The following facts demonstrate the many successes of HBCUs:

    Nine of the top ten colleges that graduate most of the African American students who go on to earn Ph.D.s are HBCUs.

    More than 50 percent of the nation’s African American public school teachers and 70 percent of African American dentists and physicians earned degrees at HBCUs.

    Over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs

    In 2000, Xavier University in New Orleans individually produced more successful African American medical school applicants (94) than Johns Hopkins (20), Harvard (37), and the University of Maryland (24) combined. Two other HBCUs also placed in the top ten producers of medical school applicants, including Morehouse (33), and Spelman (38).

    Spelman and Bennett Colleges produce over half of the nation’s African American women who go on to earn doctorates in all science fields; more than produced by the Ivy League’s Seven Sisters combined (Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Wellesley, and Vassar Colleges).

    HBCUs significantly contribute to the creation of African American science degree holders: agriculture (51.6 percent), biology (42.2 percent), computer science (35 percent), physical science (43 percent), and social science (23.2 percent).

    HBCUs produce 44 percent of all African American bachelor’s degrees awarded for communications technology, 33 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded for engineering technology, and 43 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded for mathematics, and

    HBCUs produce 40 percent of all African American doctorate degrees awarded for Communications.

    The following HBCU facts and information was posted on the UNCF website

    HBCU graduates are experts in their chosen field.

    Over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs.

    Nine of the top ten colleges that graduate the most African Americans who go on to earn Ph.D.s are HBCU graduates.

    More than 50% of the nation’s African American public school teachers and 70% of African American dentists earned degrees at HBCUs.

    UNCF members Spelman College and Bennett College produce over half of the nation’s African American female doctorates in all science fields.

    Excellent Institutions

    As ranked by Black Enterprise in 2003, seven of the top ten “ Top Colleges and Universities for African Americans,” including the top six, were HBCUs.

    HBCU Xavier University is #1 nationally in placing African-Americans into medical school.

    The first Time Magazine/ Princeton Review College of the Year, Florida A&M University , is an HBCU. It is the #1 producer of African Americans with baccalaureate degrees.

    Tuskeegee University is the only college ever to be designated a national historic site by the U.S. Congress.

    The June 3, 2004 issue of Black Issues in Higher Education shows how HBCUs dominate the upper echelon in terms of numbers of African American graduates per school for the 2002-2003 academic year. The article also reported the following facts

    Seven of the top eight producers of African-American baccalaureates overall were HBCUs, including #1 Florida A&M University and #2 Howard University .

    Eight of the top eleven producers of African American baccalaureates in agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences were HBCUs, including #1 Tennessee State University and #3 Tuskegee University .

    Sixteen of the top 21 producers of African American baccalaureates in biological and biomedical sciences were HBCUs, including the entire top six (Xavier University of LA (#1), Hampton University (#2), Howard University (#3), Morgan State University (#4), Jackson State University (#5) and Tennessee State University (#6).

    Six of the top ten producers of African American baccalaureates in education were HBCUs, including #1 Alabama State University .

    Seven of the top eleven producers of African American baccalaureates in engineering were HBCUs, including #1 North Carolina A&T State University .

    The top three producers of African American baccalaureates in health professions (#1 Southern University and A&M College , #2 Florida A&M University and #3 Howard University ) were HBCUs.

    Eight of the top nine producers of African American baccalaureates in mathematics and statistics were HBCUs: #1 Morehouse College, #2 South Carolina State University #3 Alabama State University, #3 Spelman College, #5Southern University and A&M College, #6 Tennessee State Unversity, #7 Hampton University and #9 Howard University.

    The twelve top producers of African American baccalaureates in the physical sciences, including #1 Xavier University of Louisiana , were all HBCUs.

    Three of the top five producers of African American baccalaureates in psychology were HBCUs: #1 Florida A&M University , #3 Hampton University and #5 Howard University .

    Remarkable Accomplishments

    Grambling University Coach Eddie Robinson was named the college football coach with the most wins.

    Almost half of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus attended an HBCU.

  6. Institutions

  7. FYI 99% of the most accomplished Black Women and Black men are the products of historically Black Colleges.

    What does this tell YOU?

    Support your Black Institutions of education.

    Coretta Scott’s mother once said:

    “I will send my children to college if I only have one dress to wear.”
    –Bernice Scott

    And all of her Children went to college.

    Charles Micheaux
    Micheaux Films & Publishing Company

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