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B. The Threat to Minority Doctors

Narrator: This is Science Today. Dr. Miriam Komaromy of the University of California, San Francisco led a study showing people who live in predominantly minority communities, no matter what their income, have access to fewer doctors than people in the poorest white neighborhoods.

Komaromy: Our findings really show that if you're an African-American or a Latino patient, you're likely to have a hard time finding a doctor in your own community who'll take care of you, and if you do find a doctor in your own community who'll care for you it's likely to be an African-American or a Latino doctor...

Narrator: Who might well have received medical training with the help of affirmative action. Komaromy says that's bad news at a time when affirmative action is under attack in California and around the nation.

Komaromy: So if you do something that not only doesn't promote minority doctors going into medical school but is likely to actually decrease the number of minority doctors going to medical school, you're really likely to have a bad effect on health care for the poorest residents of this state and the minority residents of this state.

Narrator: And other states as well. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.