Mission matters: Association between a medical school's mission and minority student representation

Kendall M. Campbell, Dmitry Tumin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing enrollment of students who are underrepresented in medicine has been a priority of United States (US) medical schools. The authors sought to compare how increasing minority student representation factors into mission statements, statements of values, and strategic action plans at top research-oriented US medical schools and US medical schools with a social mission. A Web search was performed to locate three documents for each medical school: the mission statement; a statement of values; and a strategic plan. Data were retrieved on the number of underrepresented minority graduates and total graduates from each school in the graduating classes of 2015-2019. The number and percentage of graduates during this period were compared according to schools' mission statements using rank-sum tests. Other quantitative study data were compared by school mission using Fisher's exact tests. Five of the schools with a social mission (25%) and none of the schools with a research mission had a mission statement that addressed increasing representation of underrepresented minority students in the medical school (p = 0.047). Schools with a mission statement that addressed this group had a higher proportion of those graduates during 2015-2019 (median 66%; IQR 28%, 68%) compared to schools that did not address this in their mission statement (median 10%; IQR 6%, 13%; p = 0.003). More research is needed to explore the association between US medical school mission statements and the representation of underrepresented students in medical education, especially at research-oriented medical schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0247154
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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