Welcome to UCSB’s resource page for students from underrepresented backgrounds, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students! This page is meant to be a centralized resource for students interested in pursuing a health professions career. We’ve split this page into several sections for easy accessibility of our website (ie, less scrolling), and because the resources listed here are unique to each population.
We are committed to helping students of diverse backgrounds enter the health professions, as different identities and cultural backgrounds enhance the healthcare field and propel the profession as a whole. Identity is important in healthcare, as it affects the way physicians interact with patients, and how they approach treatment. As advisors, we hope to work with you to identify the aspects of your identity that are most important to you; through this process, we can assist with personal statements, prompts, and interviews, in order to showcase your unique talents and capabilities.
The AAMC defined the term "underrepresented minority" in 2003: "Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population." Note: Individual health professions schools may include other underrepresented groups in their definition of URM, including those who are differently abled and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
To put it in perspective, we've outlined the percentages of self-identified medical professionals of underrepresented groups relative to the percentages in the general population:
Per a retrospective study on Primary Care Physicians in 2018 :
72.5% of PCPs describe themselves as White
5.9% of PCPs describe themselves as Latino or Hispanic
6.8% of PCPs describe themselves as Black
11.2% of PCPs describe themselves as Asian
0.7% of PCPs describe themselves as Alaskan Native/American Indian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Per the US Census Bureau, 2019:
76.3% of Americans describe themselves as White
18.5% of Americans describe themselves as Latino or Hispanic
13.4% of Americans describe themselves as Black
5.9% of Americans describe themselves as Asian
1.3% of Americans describe themselves as Alaskan Native or American Indian
*Please note, although the Asian group appears to be overrepresented in the physician pool, many studies have pointed out that combining Asian as a single group masks important differences among sub-groups.