Dear Medical Schools: Don’t Defy the Supreme Court

How will medical schools respond to the Supreme Court’s recent ban on affirmative action? Essentially every medical school practiced this race-based discrimination before the ruling. Now the man who took this issue to the Supreme Court is warning educational institutions to follow the law and do what’s right.

Edward Blum, who founded the organization at the heart of the case, has sent letters to 150 colleges and universities. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, he wrote that it is “incumbent on your institution to ensure compliance with this decision, starting with this admissions cycle.” The letters went to the schools’ presidents, deans of admission, and general counsels.

Medical schools have a choice to make. Some may try to get around the ruling by creating new race-based admissions options, such as scholarships that are restricted to people with certain skin colors. This approach violates the spirit of the ruling, and more importantly, the letter of federal law. Medical schools may also try other creative ways to continue discriminating, such as prioritizing students from gerrymandered zip codes.

This cannot be allowed. The best – and only valid – option is to treat every applicant equally, recruiting medical students based on merit. That’s what medical schools are supposed to do, not least because it leads to the best possible physicians who will provide the best possible care.

Kudos to Edward Blum for bringing this fight so far – and for continuing the fight until equality fully wins. Every American should hope this cause succeeds, and Do No Harm will do our part to ensure it happens.