UCLA med students graduate 'unqualified' to practice medicine as admissions team boosts diversity over merit: report

Since Lucero was hired UCLA has dropped from 6th to 18th place in the US News & World Report's medical research rankings.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
The University of California, Los Angeles's David Geffen School of Medicine has long been among the best in the state, if not the country. However, in recent years, administrators have seen students' performance decline. These days, an unprecedented number of those enrolled are failing to pass basic medical exams, and struggling to keep up with the course load.

Many have placed the lion's share of the blame on Jennifer Lucero, who was brought in as dean of admissions in 2020 and has since been accused of prioritizing diversity over merit. Her co-workers have alleged that despite the fact that California has long banned the consideration of race in admissions to public schools, she has continued to find ways to put one group above others, even if they do not meet the requirements.

One former member of the admissions staff told the Washington Free Beacon that Lucero has facilitated the transformation of UCLA into a "failed medical school," suggesting, "we want racial diversity so badly, we're willing to cut corners to get it."

According to the outlet, numerous people familiar with the matter said Lucero frequently admits black and Latino applicants with lower scores while restricting admission of white and Asian applicants to those who have qualifications so impressive that to deny them would raise more than a few eyebrows.

Since Lucero was hired, UCLA has dropped from 6th to 18th place in the US News & World Report's medical research rankings, and between 2019 and 2022, the number of Asian students declined by nearly a third.

"Shelf test" results, testing that is typically taken at the end of a clinical rotation and measures basic medical knowledge, have fallen in recent years, with more than 50 percent of students now failing the testing on emergency, family, and internal medicine, as well as pediatrics.

One professor told the outlet that a student could not identify a major artery when asked in the operating room. That student reportedly berated the professor for putting her on the spot.

Another professor said that students don’t know basic lab tests by the end of their clinical rotations, and are unable in some cases to present patients.

"I don't know how some of these students are going to be junior doctors," the professor said. "Faculty are seeing a shocking decline in knowledge of medical students."

"UCLA still produces some very good graduates," one professor told the Free Beacon, "but a third to a half of the medical school is incredibly unqualified."

Lucero has justified her tactics by suggesting medical school graduating classes should "represent" the "diversity" of California, and, according to those who serve with her on the admissions committee, does not take kindly to challengers of that mission.
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