Two “Underrepresented Minority Students in Medicine (URiM)” programs at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine (UNCOM) have been removed from the school’s website following the filing of a federal civil rights complaint and subsequent federal investigation.
Until the federal investigation was opened this week, the UNCOM Department of Dermatology was offering the Dr. Kristie Hayes Visiting URiM Medical Student Externship in Dermatology and the Karle Cordova Olnes UNMC Dermatology URiM Summer Medical Student Research Fellowship on its DEI Opportunities page (archived version). Both programs noted: “Preference will be given to students considered underrepresented in medicine: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian.”
Discrimination on the basis of race violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and prompted the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to open a federal investigation into these programs on September 13.
A search of the UNCOM website using the names of the programs lists the programs in the results; however, the related webpages have either been taken down or significantly modified:
Do No Harm files federal civil rights complaints on discriminatory medical education programs with the hope that outcomes like the one obtained at UNCOM will be realized. Scrubbing the website of the program indicates that the school likely knew it was engaging in illegal racial discrimination. We call on the University of Nebraska College of Medicine to open its Department of Dermatology programs to all eligible applicants based on their qualifications, without regard to race or ethnicity.
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