The Top Feeder Schools for Black Medical Students

health-insuranceThe Association of American Medical Colleges has released data on the undergraduate colleges and universities that produced the most graduates who went on to apply to medical school. In 2011, 87 Black graduates of Howard University applied to medical school. Xavier University in New Orleans had 68 Black graduates who applied to U.S. medical schools.

Among predominantly White colleges and universities, the University of Florida had the most Black graduates who applied to U.S. medical schools in 2011 with 64. Spelman College, the HBCU for Black women in Atlanta ranked fourth, with 57 Black medical school applicants.

Other colleges and universities in the top 10 in producing Black medical school applicants were the University of Miami, the University of Maryland, Hampton University, the University of South Florida, Cornell University, and Emory University.

If we look at the colleges and universities that produced the most Black graduates of medical schools, Xavier University is by far the leader of the pack. Some 60 graduates of Xavier University earned their medical degrees in 2011. This was almost double the number of medical school graduates from Howard University, which ranked second nationally. In 2011, 32 Howard graduates earned medical degrees. The University of Florida, Harvard University, Duke University, and Stanford University all had 20 graduates who earned medical degrees in 2011.

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  1. The bottom line is the reported above numbers for Black Medical School graduates in 2011 is atrocious. More importantly this should signal the alarm bell for the total Black community in concert with others who have a vested interest in significantly increasing the number of Black medical school graduates to develop a comprehensive game plan beginning with early childhood education to remedy the low number of Black medical school graduates.

    As long as we have a poor number of Black medical school graduates we will have a consistent shortage of Black physicians. The shortage of Black physicians is far more acute among Black medical practitioners than among their white counterparts. This shortage has evoked salutary responses in quarters concerned with the nation’s health as a whole. To the efforts put forth by the National Medical Fellowship Inc. and the National Institute of Mental Health, must be added the financial support given by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with a view to starting an accelerated medical education program.

    This foundation has awarded Howard University, the capstone of Black education, numerous large grants to increase the size of its Freshmen medical schools class and to reduce the number of years it takes to train a physician. Because we live in a capitalist system in the USA everything we consume which includes a bona-fide medical school education is based upon a profit motive coupled with the incentive to earn huge sums of money.
    Medical-School- Academic-Complex obtains more profits based upon the length of time it takes a student to complete their medical school education.
    Thus we need more investments from private foundations to the HBCU’s and other schools that have had historically Black students enrolled in said medical school programs.
    The money could be used to start an accelerated medical school program using 70 to 80 students in the Junior and Senior years of undergraduate school and enrolling them immediately in the medical school.
    This will reduce the length of time it takes to go from high school to graduate medical school from eight years to six years.

    The aim should be to produce more Black doctors and produce them faster. The Sloan Foundations has given Howard and other HBCU medical schools funds for the establishment of a development office to strengthen its financial base.
    The money should be used to to seek contributions from Alumni, industry, and other foundations to help with the medical education of the nations Blacks who represent only a horribly low 3.9 percent of the doctors in the USA.

    Fidel Castro of Cuba has brought Black Africans from all over the Diaspora and given then a world class medical school education when US medical schools were not to keen on bringing these descendants of slaves into their prestigious medical schools.

    • I agree with every word that Brother Saunders wrote. I know first hand the White America does not want us to become educated, let alone hold doctorates of any sort because then we are not in our “place”. We as a people need to step up and get more brothers and sisters funding to attend Howard, Meharry and Morehouse Schools of Medicine, increasing the pitifully low number of Black physicians.

      • The problem is the teachers in the schools and colleges…..They make it a point to give Blacks lower grades and how they justify this is during the finals…YOU NEVER SEE WHAT YOU GOT ON THE FINAL…you can be getting A’s all during the semester and if the teacher is racist…here’s his/her chance to give you an unfavorable grade.. You have a lot of racist teachers in the schools and colleges.

        I’ve seen this time and time again…it is not that the Blacks are not trying…they are being short handed with their grades from racist teachers and professors..

        You also have on major test questions on it to identify your race..test such as ACT, SAT, MCAT etc. They ask you first what is your race….then they have numbers on the applications sometime to determine what area you live in….

        Then they ask “how far did your parents get in school” which is none of their business and does not determine the success of their child wanting to be a doctor. All this is to screen out and to cancel out the applicant

        So, when your have all this negative in place…THIS IS THE REASON YOU DO NOT SEE many Black Doctors…don’t blame the RACE…Blame how the system is!

        You rarely see a Black Bio professor……WHY…actually you rarely see ANY BLACK PROFESSORS AT ALL!

        so when you see statistics like this….you have to look deeper…and ask WHY is this! and stop blaming the Black students….

        • It is a sad fact the African Americans are underrepresented in medicine. This is the result of socioeconomic factors largely influenced by a history of racism and oppression.
          But get a grip.
          The medical schools are not conspiring to keep black applicants out.
          They WANT to be able to boast the fact that they graduate a bunch of black doctors. It makes them look good, feel good, and it’s the right thing to do. At my school they have “diversity” scholarships. SNMA is going strong. What is this “funding” you speak of? Most med students fund their education with personal debt.
          The questionnaires that come with the tests are for statistical and governmental purposes and have no bearing on the score.
          I hope that our best and brightest African American students will find themselves in influential and high seniority positions across the board, where they can find advancement and contribute to their communities.

    • I see India and Chinese coming over here getting first hand …..America favors foreign students over their own….

      All the IT jobs went to foreign people…..

      I knew a Black lady and her son went to a summer Bio Technology program for high school students…the lady was from India…all the students in her class were from India except two a Black and Spanish….her son would answer all the questions and got a D out of the class while she gave all the India students A’s…She tried to fight it, but the WHITE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT WANT TO HEAR IT! END OF STORY!

      So, when you look around and do not see BLACK Doctors…you will find a deeper REASON and it is not that they do not want to be doctors….

      The system does not want them to be Doctors…so they do any and all things to prevent them for being doctors .

      So, this is what I’m talking about…

      America needs to look out for their own before we cater to foreign people coming over here…
      It’s no way AMERICAN people can go over to another country and KNOW they will get special treatment and get their jobs

      I never seen so many people who are not from America have successful lives, big houses than American born people who are working their butts off (mostly Blacks) and can never have success…..

      As we continue to let and give Foreign people excess to opportunities and not give them to their own, America gets kicked in the butt for doing so…like 911..and the Boston bombers…they had top quality education, scholarships, live in a nice neighborhood and look what they did to us…..

    • I know for sure that there are many black young men and women who really want to become physicians and surgeons, and are willing to put in any work required for that. However, they lack the funding to attend medical school. How can they get help from the black community and foundations that campaign for and increase in black physicians?

      I am one of those black students in this situation.

      • hello stanley,

        I just read your post and I totally agree. Now, I have never applied to any medical school. But I was under the impression that one could get a loan to pay for it provided one got accepted. Maybe I am not up to date on the current situation.

        I have always wanted to be a surgeon. But I definitely believe many of us (descendants of Africa) have been cheated by American academia: we are just not being prepared from elementary school like our counterparts in those New England schools in the north such as the famous Groton School and others like it.
        Those students are made familiarize themselves from a very young age with Calculus, Latin, Ancient Greek, etc. They become comfortable with many concepts and skills way before high school.

        At any rate, my question to you is: is it possible for you to get a loan to medical school?? If so, can you get it before even being accepted, or must you be accepted to medical school in order to apply for a loan??

        Please let me know. thanks.

  2. Until we get “our” kids involved and interested in STEM programs at an earlier age, we will not see appreciable success rates in the medical fields. Prime exampole: when the number of students enrolled in the STEM majors at a school like Morehouse drops (which it has), Houston, we have a problem! I earned a degree in Biology (Morehouse) and my interest in the sciences was stoked at a very early age.

  3. The main problem is that we don’t push our Black kids (especially Black males) into pre-med and science related fields. I would estimate that 200 of the 800 Black female medical school graduates and 300 of the 600 Black male medical school gradates each year are 1st or second generation Nigerian. The numbers for Black African-Americans with roots to slavery on both sides of their family becoming licensed physicians is even more atrocious than the article states.

    I personally left a high paying job to study medicine abroad due to the shortage of U.S. medical school slots. Despite a huge increase in population, medical school slots have remained steady at approximately 18,000 for the past 20+ years. A high medical school entrance exam score and a low GPA, or vice versa, will disqualify someone from all U.S. medical schools. Howard and Morehouse School of Medicine have gone from an average 3.0 GPA to nearly 3.5 GPA in the past 10 years. All medical schools are getting more competitive each year.

    Although I have already passed step 1 (part 1) of the U.S. medical licensing exam (USMLE), no one in my family believes that I can make it, and I get almost zero support, financially or emotionally. I don’t think the solution has anything to do with funding. I believe the solution lies with simply encouragement and motivation of our Black youth starting from a child until graduation. If we never see any Black doctors and no one believes in us, no amount of funding will make a difference.

    • Currentmedstudent, I hope the you stick to your goals. I know exactly where you come from. I am a graduate of the oldest HBCU medical school in the U.S. I am a Department Chair in Anesthesiology, and was the president of a private group practice for 6 years. You must have faith in yourself and avoid allowing the lack of support and the lack of visible black faces discourage you. One of the things that carried me through was the following determination: I told myself that no one was going to tell me what I can or cannot do. I will achieve what I want no matter what. If I can’t get in through the front door, I’ll go through the back door. If the back door is shut, I’ll climb through a window. This is the mindset that you must have. Stay strong and carry on!

      • I am in the same situation, except it has taken me until the age of 24 to start my pre-med track because no one supported me. I have a dilemma, however, and I need advice. I have a full-tuition scholarship at a college in Mississippi that I fear will not adequately prepare me for medical school. I have the option of going to a PWI where I think the course work will be more structured and it won’t be simplified based on the education of the students. The reason I initially chose this school is because my family urged me to gain entry at a college that offered a full-tuition scholarship, so I did. My question now is that should I sacrifice the quality of my education and risk my already slim to none chances of getting into medical school all for a free subpar education? I am in need of so much guidance, I need help to get my life in order.

        • Go to and find the “find an advisor” function. They match pre-health students who don’t have prehealth advisors with volunteer advisors from around the country.

  4. When education is done correctly, many problems simply go away.

    Too many schools in minority areas are lacking in management quality and are particularly
    lacking in the essential college advisory services that First Generation students need to get registered for the rigorous courses that will enable them to gain access to the schools that can properly prepare students for exceptional work demands of medical school.

    None of this kept Benjamin Carson from enlisting the assistance of his local children’s librarian, who provided him with the reading lists match to his continually improving reading ability and interests. Thus we had available the world’s most effective pediatric neurosurgeon. No one has ever outworked Benjamin Carson, MD.

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