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  • Writer's picturePharm Grad

Underrepresented in Medicine (URM): What does it really mean?

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) defines underrepresented in medicine (URM) as racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population. (1) The goal of PharmGradWishList is to support racially and ethnically minoritized trainees as they enter the pharmacy profession. As we developed our mission and vision, it became evident that the definition of underrepresented minority (URM) itself is limited. The Asian population, as an example, are overrepresented within the pharmacy profession; however, select racial and ethnic groups within the Asian category are underrepresented in the pharmacy profession (i.e., Hmong, Laotian, etc.). (2, 3) Similarly, per NIH reporting criteria, persons having origins in North Africa and the Middle East are classified as “White”, yet they are also underrepresented. (4)

Recently, this topic has become known in the greater scientific community, and the time has come for our profession to also address this timely issue. The way forward is to disaggregate data to represent all ethnic groups, such that diverse communities are better served by healthcare professionals. (5)

We are seeking trainees from these historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to collaborate with PharmGradWishList to write a commentary/editorial piece on this topic for publication. Please submit your curriculum vitae (CV) and a paragraph (300 words maximum) describing your motivation for participating in this opportunity by Monday, January 24th to All applications will undergo a holistic and thorough review.

1. Association of American Medical Colleges. Diversity and Inclusion: Underrepresented in Medicine Definition. Available at Accessed December 20, 2021

2. AACP Fall 2020 Profile of Pharmacy Students. Accessed December 20, 2021.

3. United States Census Bureau QuickFacts. Accessed December 20, 2021 4. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Racial and Ethnic Categories and Definitions for NIH Diversity Programs and for Other Reporting Purposes. Accessed December 20, 2021.

5. NPR. Southeast Asians are underrepresented in STEM. The label ‘Asian’ boxes them out more. Accessed December 20, 2021.


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