A new study finds that medical students who previously attended community college are more likely to practice in underserved communities or work with minority populations.

The study, led by researchers from UCLA, UC San Francisco and San Jose City College, used data from the 2012 Association of American Medical Colleges matriculant and applicant files and the AAMC’s Matriculating Student Questionnaire to determine whether there was a link between a students’ participation in a community college pathway, their admission to medical school, and their intention to practice medicine in underserved communities or work with minority populations.

The findings revealed that among students who apply to and attend medical school, those from underrepresented minority backgrounds are more likely than white and Asian students to have attended a community college at some point. Moreover, community college students who were accepted to medical school were also more likely that those students who never attended a community college to commit to working with underserved populations.

According to a release issued by UCLA, “the authors recommend that medical school and four-year university recruitment, outreach and admissions practices be more inclusive of community college students.” The study was published in the journal Academic Medicine.