In April 2023, we reported that the University of Kansas School of Medicine (KUSM) at the KU Medical Center (KUMC) removed the racially discriminatory eligibility criteria from the Urban Scholars program, which was described as a “hallowed program” by a Kansas state representative, who is also a primary care physician. But KUMC is again under investigation for the two scholarships we described in our April posting.
On July 13, Do No Harm senior fellow Mark Perry was informed of the new investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). A subsequent review of the KUMC website showed that the school had already modified the webpage for the Summer Diversity Research Scholarship, and had taken down the page for the Sub-Internship in Plastic Surgery Diversity Scholarship.
At the time of the complaint, eligibility for the Summer Diversity Research Scholarship was limited to students who are “a member of a population that is underrepresented in Plastic Surgery: i.e., African American/Black, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native and/or Hispanic/Latino.”
Today, the scholarship is open to all first- or second-year medical students in good standing, and “students who are members of groups underrepresented in medicine are encouraged to apply.”
The Sub-Internship in Plastic Surgery Diversity Scholarship had the same discriminatory and illegal eligibility criteria.
However, instead of opening that scholarship to all eligible U.S. medical students, the Department of Plastic Surgery scrubbed the program from its website.
Do No Harm applauds this outcome and will continue to pursue civil rights complaints against medical schools like KUMC that violate federal law.
Have you seen discriminatory scholarships or fellowships at your college or university? Please let us know; you may remain anonymous if you wish.
Get up to speed with the threats facing healthcare – and how we’re protecting patients and physicians.
"*" indicates required fields