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BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7107.3a (Published 30 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:S3a-7107

Using ethnicity as a selection factor has always been controversial, but for all its problems affirmative action programmes have been used to increase diversity in American medical schools. A legal challenge in Texas in 1996 led to affirmative action programmes that select on the basis of race being outlawed in that state.The result: admissions from African Americans were almost halved in the following year (Academic Medicine 1997;72:616-7), and those from Mexican Americans down by one third.

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