11 Issues L. & Med. 363 (1995-1996)
Religious Discrimination in the Selection of Medical Students: A Case Study

handle is hein.journals/ilmed11 and id is 391 raw text is: Religious Discrimination in
the Selection of Medical
Students: A Case Study
Albert E. Gunn, Esq., M.D.*
George 0. Zenner, Jr., M.D.**
In 1978 the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
responding to congressional concerns,' conducted a study to determine
whether schools of medicine, nursing, or osteopathy deny admission or
otherwise discriminate against any applicant because of the applicant's
reluctance, or willingness, to counsel, suggest, recommend, assist, or in any
way participate in the performance of abortions or sterilizations contrary to
his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.2 Surveys were sent to all
schools of medicine, nursing, and osteopathy in the United States, asking
whether they discriminated against or denied admission to any of the
named groups.3 In addition, any applicant who had suffered such
discrimination was asked to contact the surveyors, and any organization
aware of incidents of discrimination was asked to describe details of such
*Associate Dean for Admissions, the University of Texas-Houston Medical School; B.S.,
Fordham College, 1955; LL.B., Fordham Law School, 1958; M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., National
University of Ireland, 1967; L.R.C.P. (London), M.R.C.S. (England), 1967.
**Associate Professor, Family Practice and Community Medicine, and Vice-Chairman for
Rural Medicine and Community Affairs, the University of Texas-Houston Medical School;
B.A., Rice University, 1956; M.D., University of Texas Medical Branch, 1960.
'Section 7 of the Health Professions Education Amendments of 1977, Pub. L. No. 95-215,
Dec. 19, 1977.
2To the authors' knowledge, the results of this study were not published.
3A letter was sent to the dean or nursing director of each school of medicine, nursing, and
osteopathy by Daniel F. Whiteside, D.D.S., Director of Bureau of Health Manpower,
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Health Resources
Administration, Hyattsville, Maryland, dated March 28, 1978. The letter is reproduced in the
Verbatim section of this edition of Issues in Law & Medicine [hereinafter Letter].
4A notice was published in the Federal Register inviting both successful and unsuccessful
applicants (including graduates) to send comments describing their experiences in the

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