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Black Enrollment in Dental Schools Continues to Drop


African American enrollment in dental schools
declined for the third consecutive year, according to data recently
released by the American Association of Dental Schools (AADS) and the
American Dental Association.

And although their enrollment numbers increased by one student last
year, since 1994, Hispanics have seen the greatest decrease in
attendance at dental schools.

By 1997, the 973 Blacks who were in dental school in 1994 had
dwindled to 883. The Hispanic decline over that period went from 1,045
to 825. (See chart)

Minority Enrollment in Dental School

African Hispanic
Year American American

1994 973 5.95% 1,045 6.39%
1995 951 5.75% 966 5.84%
1996 891 5.40% 824 5.00%
1997 883 5.22% 825 4.87%

Native Underrepresented
Year American Minority Totals

1994 56 0.34% 2,074 12.68%
1995 73 0.44% 1,985 12.03%
1996 83 0.50% 1,798 10.90%
1997 96 0.57% 1,804 10.66%

Source: American Dental Association Surveys of Predoctoral Dental Educational Institutions

“Every year we do not increase the percentage of underrepresented
minorities in first-year dental school enrollments, we are losing
ground. Strategic measures are needed to enhance the pipeline of
minorities that will seek careers in dentistry now and in the future,”
read a statement released by the AADS Division of Equity and Diversity.
“With the current health disparities and projected demographic changes
in the U.S. population, this issue is both necessary and urgent for all
aspects of the dental profession — education, research, and the health
of the public.”

COPYRIGHT 1998 Cox, Matthews & Associates

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