That charges of unfairness against Jewish students in medical colleges are unwarranted; that present restrictions safeguard the welfare of medicine, the public and Jewish doctors; and that Jews should themselves curtail the number of young men entering medicine, are the conclusions arrived at as the result of a national investigation conducted under the auspices of the National Conference of Jews and Christians by Dr. A. J. Rongy, an eminent Jewish physician of this city.
Hon. Newton D. Baker, Professor Carlton J. H. Hayes and Roger W. Straus are co-chairmen of the executive board of the National Conference of Jews and Christians.
Revelations of the investigation, (which was undertaken by the National Conference as the result of an article by the Rev. Frank Gavin in “The Living Church” of April 12, 1930, charging discrimination against Jewish medical students) appear in this week’s “Jewish Tribune.”
Dr. Rongy made a nation-wide poll among American and Canadian medical colleges covering 1925-1929, and also circulated a set of questions among fifty chapters of a large medical fraternity. On the mass of data received he tabulated statistics embracing 15,262 students of whom 3,232 were Jews. “The Jewish population of the country aggregates 3Â½ percent of the total; Jews are represented by six times their ratio percentages among the medical student body,” said Dr. Rongy. “One out of every three Jewish students who apply is admitted to a medical college, but if all were admitted the Jewish ratio would swell to more than 43 per cent of the total student body … what would happen if a racial group forming 3Â½ percent of our national population were permitted to supply 43 percent of our new doctors? … Since the Jewish physician’s clientele is almost entirely Jewish, … an economic problem would arise of severe competition conducive to a lowering of ethical standards.”
That Jews, being urban, would practice in cities where medicine is already an overcrowded profession, while rural districts, which need more practitioners, have a largely non-Jewish population, is the real basis of the seeming discrimination, according to Tufts College, Mass., the University of West Virginia, the University of Alabama, the Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn., and many others. The fact that preference is given to students of rural districts, and that among the latter Jews are as welcome as non-Jews is uniformly stressed by the colleges. The study revealed, however, that not all medical schools are free from religious and racial discrimination in the admission of students.