Howard Refutes Report on Medical School Admission of Black Men

Howard-University-logoIn 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, 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.





  • Valorie

    36 of 120 at a HBCU? I wonder how many African Americans males Georgetown has admitted in their School of Medicine for the Fall of 2013.

  • Dr. Dre

    The lack of diligence (which is part and parcel of a true scholar) on the part of both Watkins is quite obvious. It would seem only fair for Watkins to curtail his extensive rant in his June 23rd column regarding the issue until he confirmed the context and accuracy of Malveaux’s quip. But the fruit was too appealing to his eyes, and he took a huge bite. Now the taste is bitter, and not at all sweet. In fact, it probably tastes a bit like crow (perhaps Watkins will write a column about that gustatory stimulus). Finally, as for Watkins’ claim that Howard didn’t respond to his assistant’s request for information, and to subsequently claim that an unidentified “person” from Howard was “vague”, “unprofessional” and “rude” in response to the initial query, only demonstrates how hungry Watkins is for the limelight. He chose to abort accuracy for sensationalism.

    Sadly, when this kind of “gossip” occurs at gatherings the Rodham Institute, one can only imagine the damage that can be done with respect to institutional reputation. Unlike Julianne Malveaux, Watkins will not (and apparently is incapable of) accept(ing) responsibility for his actions. Apologies, not excuses and qualifications are the most appropriate and immediate response, Mr. Watkins.

    Given your unprofessional behavior, it is no mystery why Howard University didn’t hire you.