The Prohibition of Affirmative Action in Medical School Admissions Is Causing a Shortage of Black Physicians in California

Since the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, state-operated medical schools in California have been prohibited by state law from considering race in admission decisions.

A new report, prepared by the Center for California Healthcare Workforce Studies at the University of California at San Francisco, shows that this law may be having an adverse impact on public health. The report identified 2,034 black physicians in the state. Blacks, who are 7 percent of the state’s population, are only 3 percent of all medical doctors in California.

The report also showed that black physicians are more likely than whites to work in primary care and are more apt to practice in underserved minority communities.