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American Physicians Insurance Company ..................................................42 American Society of Nutrition ............... 7 Arms of Hope .............................................53 Athenahealth ................................................9 Capital Farm Credit ..................................33 Cooper Aerobics Center ..........................17 Cooper Institute .........................................42 Covenant Medical Group .........................41 Humana .......................................................IBC Kindred ............................................................ 5 Leichter Law................................................47 mobiManage ...............................................53 Seton Healthcare .........................................8 Shannon’s Hope Foundation ................34 Texas Department of State Health Services (HIV) ........................................40


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Attorney General Abbott said the state education code contained “no geo- graphic requirements or restrictions” that prevented the THECB from granting or denying a certificate of authority to a foreign medical school “that otherwise satisfies the statutory and regulatory cri- teria for issuance of such a certificate.” A THECB spokesman said the board’s general counsel is reviewing the opinion and the board could take up the matter as early as Jan. 24 at its next meeting. Some stakeholders suggested to the attorney general’s office that THECB delay action until the legislature has an opportunity to consider the policy impli- cations of a decision to allow or prohibit foreign medical schools from operating in Texas, according to the opinion. Nothing in state law would prevent


the board from delaying consideration of a pending application, Attorney General Abbott said.


Texas at Austin, claiming the school dis- criminated against her solely as a white applicant when it denied her admis- sion. She argues that because Texas law requires automatic admission of high school students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class, UT already had a diverse student body without having to consider race.


UT maintains it evaluated Ms. Fish-


er’s application in good faith and in ac- cordance with its policy of considering multiple factors in admissions decisions, but that she was not a competitive appli- cant. UT argues that judicial precedents recognize a “broad tradition” of courts giving a degree of deference to universi- ties’ educational expertise and autonomy. The medical community agrees in its court brief. Medical schools in particular “are committed to creating a diverse edu- cational environment because they be- lieve that a diverse student body produc- es educational outcomes that ultimately benefit public health” by reducing racial and ethnic disparities. To achieve that goal, most medical


UT case could affect medical schools


Advertise for as little as $25! TMA’s website experiences nearly 320,000 visitor sessions each month. With this kind of activity, can you afford not to advertise in TMA’s online classifieds? Place and purchase your classified ad now at http://classifieds.texmed.org.


Diversity is a vital component of medi- cal education and the physician work- force, and medical schools should be able to base their admissions decisions on an array of factors, in addition to ap- plicants’ academic achievements. But a case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court could threaten the ability of universi- ties, including medical schools, to do so, according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Medical Association, and 28 other health educa- tion and professional organizations. The high court will decide whether the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution permits universities to consider race in admissions decisions, known as affirmative action. Supreme Court precedent has held that universi- ties may consider race as one factor in admissions in an effort to create a di- verse student body. Abigail Fisher sued The University of


48 TEXAS MEDICINE January 2013


schools rely on a holistic evaluation pro- cess of candidates, and beyond grades and test scores, consider nonacademic factors that may include race, ethnicity, gender, and personal interviews. “How- ever, these factors are only considered to the extent necessary to achieve clearly articulated mission-driven benefits,” and never in isolation, the brief states. Inhibiting medical school admission decisions would undermine a pipeline of well-trained physicians from all back- grounds, AMA President Jeremy A. Laza- rus, MD, said. All major racial and ethnic groups saw an uptick in medical school applicants and enrollees in 2012, accord- ing to new figures from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Justices heard oral arguments in the


case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Aus- tin, on Oct. 10, 2012. A decision is ex- pected by the end of the court’s term in June. n


Amy Lynn Sorrel is an associate editor of Texas Medicine. You can reach her by telephone at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1392, or (512) 370-1392; by fax at (512) 370-1629; or by email at amy.sorrel@texmed.org.


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