Predicting performance in medical education continuum: toward better use of conventional measures

by Albert P. Williams

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Data from 10 U.S. medical schools were used in this analysis of the effects of affirmative action programs, certifying examination data, and state of residence on admission chances. Two models were estimated for each school to predict the probability of admission as a function of individual characteristics: one for minority applicants, and another for majority or white applicants. An analysis of hypothetical applicants to compare the probabilities of admission by race showed that the minority applicant had roughly a .55 chance of being admitted if judged as a minority applicant; the majority applicant had about a .04 chance of being admitted if judged by the majority process. If the school did not know that the hypothetical minority applicant had minority status, the probability fell from .55 to .001. If a hypothetical majority applicant were evaluated by affirmative action standards, his probability would go from .04 to .95.

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