The National Medical Association, citing displeasure with the racial politics of California's governor, has canceled plans to hold its 1998 convention and scientific assembly in San Diego.
"Governor Pete Wilson's restriction on affirmative action is a detriment to the minority community," said Yvonnecris Smith Veal, M.D., president of the nation's largest association of African-American physicians.
Last year, Wilson succeeded in eliminating preference programs at the University of California. "The effect of this decision by Mr. Wilson will be culturally and economically devastating to us as medical providers, our children and the patients we serve," Veal said. "California is where we must draw the line."
The NMA thinks the composition of healthcare providers should start to mirror the 12% of the population that is African-American. It cited data from the American Association of Medical Colleges showing that African-Americans made up 3% of medical school enrollment in 1994-95.
"This new onslaught against affirmative action programs will inevitably erode any marginal gains," the NMA said.