Do No Harm discovered more evidence of discriminatory medical school scholarships, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened a new federal civil rights investigation.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry offers a $1,500 scholarship for “visiting students underrepresented in medicine,” which offers fourth-year medical students an opportunity to participate in an elective program; but there’s a catch. To be eligible, applicants must “identify as a group underrepresented in medicine,” as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The university’s informational document states, “This lens currently includes students who identify as African Americans and/or Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), Pacific Islander, and mainland Puerto Rican.” That racially restricted eligibility requirement illegally excludes medical students who are white, Middle Eastern, and Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, Hmong, Pakistani, Laotian, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Filipino, Indonesian and all other Asians).
The complaint, filed by Do No Harm Senior Fellow Mark Perry, alleges that the UMSOM program discriminates “on the basis of race, color, or national origin,” which is prohibited under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. This aligns with the UMSOM Department of Psychiatry’s pledge of “modifying policies and operations to assure our ongoing commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.”
Have you been unfairly affected by discriminatory scholarships or programs at your institution? If you did not apply because you thought you were ineligible, please let us know – anonymously and securely.
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