The Joint Admission Medical Program: a statewide approach to expanding medical education and career opportunities for disadvantaged students.Acad Med. 2009 Oct; 84(10):1373-82.AM
In 2003, Texas initiated an experiment to address enrollment disparities in its medical schools. With bipartisan support from key Texas legislators, funding was allocated in 2002 to establish the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP). Texas' then eight medical schools created, through JAMP, a partnership with the state's 31 public and 34 private undergraduate colleges and universities. Cognizant of legal prohibitions against reliance solely on race or ethnicity in promoting diversity, JAMP is designed to enhance opportunities for economically disadvantaged students from across the state, including those from (1) rural and remote areas of the state, and (2) institutions that have historically sent few students to medical school. Now in its seventh year of operation, JAMP is overseen by a council with representatives from all nine Texas medical schools. For the six years-2003 to 2008-for which data are available, indicators of JAMP performance can be seen in (1) the numbers of applicants to JAMP (1,230 applicants in the first six years), (2) levels of JAMP participation (480 participants), and (3) matriculation of JAMP participants into medical schools (164 of 288 of those accepted into the program in the years 2003-2006).The authors provide a brief history of JAMP, describe its structure and operation, summarize objective performance data, and identify some of the challenges still faced. These include increasing the participation of students from underrepresented minority groups within the legal structure for the program, and fostering substantive participation in JAMP by all of Texas' undergraduate institutions. A focused effort is under way to strengthen the evaluative aspects of JAMP so that more comprehensive data, including subjective evaluation data from participants, can be shared with colleagues in the future.