Why It's Unjust to Expect Location-Specific, Language-Specific, or Population-Specific Service from Students with Underrepresented Minority or Low-Income Backgrounds

Barret Michalec, Maria Athina Tina Martimianakis, Jon C Tilburt, Frederic W. Hafferty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


In this case we meet Amanda, a medical student of Native and Latin American ethnicity who receives financial aid. Her friends are surprised by her interest in an elite residency program. They suggest, rather, that with her language skills, ethnic background, and interest in social justice, she has a responsibility to work with underserved patient populations. In our commentary, we consider issues raised by the case and explore Amanda's friends' underlying expectations and assumptions that perpetuate the very inequities that the resolution of the case purports to address. We also identify the role of privilege and address the "burden of expectation" that appears to be associated with underrepresented minority (URM) medical students and normative assumptions about their career paths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalAMA journal of ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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