Socio-Economic and Racial profile of Medical Students from a Public University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica
Abstract: Introduction: There are still many economic and racial barriers for black and indigenous peoples regarding access to a university degree in Brazil. Although Brazil is mistakenly considered a racial democracy, black people, indigenous peoples and those of low social status are the most affected by such difficulties regarding access to the university. Medical schools are traditionally attended by white, wealthy and upper-middle-class groups, although 54% of Brazilians consider
... consider themselves to be African descendants. To deal with this scenario, since 2013, 50% of all vacancies in public universities have been reserved for low social classes, indigenous peoples and African descendants. Our objective was to describe the socioeconomic and racial profile of those attending a public medical school in the state of Rio de Janeiro during a five-year period, analyzing the associations between the Brazilian segregationist structure and inclusion policies. Method: A census study was carried out, including all groups that entered the medical school at a public university in the state of Rio de Janeiro between 2013 and 2017. We applied a self-administered questionnaire that addressed social, ethnic, economic and university admission aspects. The data were analyzed by a simple description of the frequencies and by bivariate analysis. Results: The results show that the majority profile is white, with an annual income higher than US$ 8,640, coming from a private school, with financial support from the family, both parents with higher education and no gender difference. As for the inclusion of non-white people into the course, the current quota system has not significantly increased their presence. Conclusion: We conclude that racial inclusion policies subordinated to economic ones seem to be a barrier to the entry of non-whites to medical school, contributing to racial inequality.