The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has opened an investigation into a discriminatory program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
The “Visiting Pediatrics Rotation Scholarship for Students Underrepresented in Medicine” (archived page) was available only to applicants who “identify as belonging to a population that is underrepresented in medicine as defined by the AAMC,” and offered a $2000 stipend for travel and housing. The AAMC has historically defined “underrepresented in medicine” as “Blacks, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans (that is, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), and mainland Puerto Ricans.” Discrimination on the basis of race is prohibited under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of Do No Harm, filed a civil rights complaint against this program on June 13, 2022, and was notified of the OCR’s investigation this week. The URL of the webpage for the “Visiting URM Student Scholarship,” which was active at the time the complaint was filed, now points to the homepage of the University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics.
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