Dr. José Celso Barbosa was the first Puerto Rican to obtain a medical degree from a school in the continental United States. He graduated from the University of Michigan medical school in 1880. At this time, the majority of the international students from Latin America coming to the United States were of European descent. Barbosa was of mixed descent. Because of this, he was declined enrollment at the first medical school he applied to. His mentor received a letter dated October 5, 1877 that stated the reason for the school’s decision. It read, "DEAR SIR, – At a faculty meeting held last night it was decided not to receive students of color. I report that under this resolution Mr. Barbosa will be unable to matriculate here.” Dr. Barbosa overcame this obstacle and enrolled at the University of Michigan later that month.