Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a decision in two cases that ruled that consideration of race in college admissions violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. As Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, I echo the concern and disappointment in this decision expressed by Chancellor Wilcox and by David Skorton, MD, President and CEO of the AAMC. Decades of research have shown that achieving racial and ethnic diversity in the physician workforce is critical to making progress in addressing what Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson referred to in her dissenting opinion as "gulf-sized race-based gaps" that exist "with respect to the health, wealth, and well-being of American citizens."
Since opening in 2013, the School of Medicine has delivered on our mission to train a diverse physician workforce to serve Inland Southern California, and to develop programs in research and clinical care to serve our medically underserved region. We have done so within the boundaries of Proposition 209 by developing robust pathway programs for prospective students, and establishing holistic admissions processes that consider students' diverse individual experiences - whether they are the first in family to attend college, have overcome a disadvantaged educational or socioeconomic background, or how they demonstrate alignment with our mission to serve the region and more.
We remain committed to our mission and will continue our efforts to address health disparities in our region and beyond.
Deborah Deas, MD, MPH
Vice chancellor for health sciences
The Mark and Pam Rubin dean of the School of Medicine
Distinguished professor of psychiatry