In a statement, officials at Howard University today refuted a recent editorial from commentator and culturalist Dr. Boyce Watkins on a lack of black men being admitted to the university’s College of Medicine for the upcoming academic year.
A recent article circulated online erroneously states that the Howard University College of Medicine did not admit any African-American males this year. As of June 18, 2013, of the 120 newly admitted medical school students, more than 30 percent are African-American men.
The data presented in the article are inaccurate and misleading. Howard University has a legacy of producing highly qualified and compassionate African-American physicians and other health care professionals who deliver patient care particularly in communities that have a shortage of physicians and public health professionals.
In an email this afternoon, Dr. Watkins responded to Howard’s position.
I didn’t mention the statistic as if it were fact. I mentioned that former Bennett College President Dr. Juliane Malveaux had written an op-ed on KultureKritic.com, stating that Howard had not admitted any African American males to its medical school. Julianne had received the information from a prominent cardiologist at a medical conference sponsored by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
There were several doctors in the room, some of whom had graduated from Howard, and none of them refuted the man’s remarks, which were made in public. I then had my assistant scour the web and also call the university to confirm if it were true.
Unfortunately, Howard University didn’t get back to my assistant in a timely manner, but I never stated that I know this information to be a fact. I also made it clear that we were trying our best to get Howard to release a straight answer. It wasn’t until we asked about the cardiologist’s statement in public that Howard University replied to our query. Even then, the person was vague and unprofessional in their response, even borderline rude.
This could have been much worse for Howard, since a lot of people would have taken the cardiologists’ comments and ran with them. They should have nipped this in the bud.
Dr. Malveaux also issued a retraction for the information in her original piece.
In my column “IF YOU DON’T LIKE DISPARITIES, TRY EQUALITY” I erroneously restated a comment I heard during a “think tank” at Rodham Institute. I was extremely remiss in not fact checking this statement. In communicating with Howard University, the facts are that of the 120 students admitted in Howard University’s School of Medicine for Fall of 2013, 36 males (30% of the class admitted) are indeed African American males. My apologies to Howard University and anyone inadvertently affected by this mistake.