3. MS–8: “Each medical school should have policies and practices ensuring the gender, racial, cultural and economic diversity of its students.”
This broad-based standard acknowledges the LCME’s commitment to the stated goal of diversity in students entering medicine, although the standard is weakened by use of the word “should” rather than “must.” The intention of this standard mirrors that of dentistry in its focus on the recruitment and retention of diverse students. At present, site visit teams can assess the school’s admissions selection process and the extent to which diversity exists by evaluating medical school data. Therefore, unlike the previous two standards, this one has outcomes that can be measured by specific instruments. However, as written, the standard fails to acknowledge the importance of diversity in the context of a quality education or in the quality of health-care access or delivery for an ever-increasing diverse population.
13. Recommendation: Reframe the standard to emphasize the importance of having a diverse, culturally competent workforce in order to provide the highest quality health care. Ensure that the standard’s wording is changed from “should” to “must” in all current and newly created standards.
The subtext of this standard states: “The extent of diversity needed will depend on the school’s missions, goals, and educational objectives, expectations of the community in which it operates, and its implied or explicit social contract at the local, state and national levels.” This subtext gives institutions tremendous latitude to gear their policies and practices toward their current missions, goals, educational objectives, and social contract, which may be woefully inadequate to create a diverse student body or to train medical students to be racially, culturally, and gender sensitive. Unless an institution’s leadership has a strong commitment to the goal of diversity, achieving this standard in its full measure will be a matter of circumstance rather than advocacy.
4. MS–31: “In the admissions process and throughout medical school, there should be no discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, creed or national origin.”
14. Recommendation. That the word “should” be replaced by the word “must.”
This standard encompasses verbiage found in most medical school admissions handbooks that puts them in compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission laws disallowing discrimination in the ad-