African-Americans in Urology

TO THE EDITOR: I am writing in response to the article, “African-Americans Still Underrepresented in Urology,” by Ruth Cannon (December 2015). I have to take exception to this article. It is as though the author is advocating for some type of quota system. Frankly, I am and have always been of the opinion that we in urology, as in medicine in general, are and should be interested in having the most qualified candidates. If blacks are not interested in and/or qualified for training in urology, who are we to say that this is a problem?

As far as I know, there have been no roadblocks placed in the path of these individuals with respect to a career in urology. This represents yet another sign of the overly racially conscious society that we have become.

I have heard no such criticism of the NBA or the NFL for not having enough whites in their ranks, nor has anyone decried the overrepresentation of Hispanics in major league baseball. These organizations, obviously, recruit and hire the most qualified candidates, which only further serves to punctuate my point.

I am very disappointed that your publication has fallen into the “PC trap” that so many other segments of society have fallen victim to. Please steer away from the arena of social engineering.

Robert A. Appel, MD, FACS

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: We are grateful to Dr Appel for this comment. The article discussed was relating the results of a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges on African-Americans in medicine, which focused on African-American men because of their decreasing numbers among those graduating from medical school. Urology Practice Management intends to report on all factual aspects and issues pertaining to urology practice, with no regard to any specific viewpoint. The issue at hand is certainly of relevance to those involved in urology in the United States, considering that African-Americans represent a significant proportion of the general population in this country.


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