June 29, 2023
The Supreme Court ruling that higher education institutions may not consider race when making admission decisions could have far-reaching consequences for the healthcare industry.
The ruling issued Thursday applies to public and private schools that receive federal funding and culminates legal challenges to the admissions polices at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University. In 2014, applicants sued the colleges, arguing that applying affirmative action to admissions unfairly diminished their chances of being accepted. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled 6-3 in their favor.
Affirmative action has been instrumental to medical schools seeking to diversify their student bodies in order to address disparities in the healthcare system. Healthcare organizations have expressed concerns in the past that eliminating affirmative action would impede diversity efforts and worsen health inequities faced by Black and Hispanic populations.
In the aftermath of the historic decision, medical schools and the healthcare sector must reconsider a fundamental aspect of their long-term strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Here’s what major healthcare institutions had to say about the ruling on Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina, et al.: