WASHINGTON, D.C. – Race-conscious admissions policies are designed to address racial discrimination by recognizing and responding to the structural barriers that hinder access to higher education for underrepresented students. While the ramifications have yet to be fully determined, today’s decisions in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina undermine the ability of colleges, universities, and medical schools to build a workforce of healthcare professionals that can effectively treat the increasingly diverse body of patients they serve.
A holistic race-conscious admissions process is an effective tool in assembling a diverse mental health workforce, which is critical to providing quality mental healthcare for all and addressing the mental health inequities that marginalized and minoritized individuals experience. Research supports that race concordance between physicians and patients and cultural sensitivity are associated with improved communication and better overall mental health outcomes.
The Supreme Court’s decisions in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina impede reaching these goals and achieving health equity in the United States.
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA's vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.