How can we ease the social isolation of underrepresented minority students?

  • Beatrice Boateng, Billy Thomas
  • Published 2011 in
    Academic medicine : journal of the Association of…


To the Editor: In an environment in which there may be a lack of cultural sensitivity, a lack of shared experiences, and a lack of inclusion or like-mindedness, underrepresented minority (URM) students may feel isolated1,2 and not part of a social network. In our experience, such students may be mistakenly perceived as having a lack of knowledge, being unprofessional, or just not being interested academically and socially. Furthermore, evaluations of clinical rotations have a significant subjective component and are influenced by social interactions of students and faculty and the implicit expectations of both. We have seen the lack of social interaction of some URMs lead to misperceptions of their competencies and to their receiving less-thandeserved evaluations. This translates into lower class rankings, which, in turn, may reduce some URMs’ competitive status during the residency selection process.

DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31822be60a

Cite this paper

@article{Boateng2011HowCW, title={How can we ease the social isolation of underrepresented minority students?}, author={Beatrice Boateng and Billy Thomas}, journal={Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges}, year={2011}, volume={86 10}, pages={1190; author reply 1190-2} }