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Are non-black people from N. Africa considered URM's?

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by Barbarossa, Jan 19, 2006.

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  1. Barbarossa

    Barbarossa New Member

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  2. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member

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    I have heard of students from morocco checking "african american".
  3. tulane06

    tulane06 Private Joker

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    North Africans are typically considered Caucasians.
  4. Barbarossa

    Barbarossa New Member

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  5. Rafa

    Rafa headbutts like zidane

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    In that case, the best thing to do might be to check 'other', and explain your ethnicity (if you deem it necessary) further in your application. Going from your thread title, you seem less concerned with your ethnicity, and more concerned with achieving URM status, to which I say :laugh:
  6. Sanctuary

    Sanctuary Templar

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    I would suggest doing the following, in order:

    1) Look at your options on paper.

    2) Look in the mirror.

    3) Look at your options on paper.

    4) Look in the mirror.

    5) Fill in as many boxes as you see fit.

    --------

    This question isn't suppose to be a difficult AMCAS question. Perhaps this might make it easier: Growing up, did you always consider yourself African-American/Black, or ANY other race/ethnicity? If it was anything other than African-American/Black, then DO NOT check that box. If you feel that your race/ethnicity isn't an option on the list, select OTHER and fill in the blank with whatever the hell sounds good to you.

    The fact of the matter is that you don't want to select a box and then show up at an interview lookin like something way different. They will either think A) you have mental issues, or B) you are having an identity crisis (which could be a form of option (A). Either way, I'd just select Chinese and move on.

    (I am tired and going to bed... <yawn> )
  7. Golddanboy

    Golddanboy Member

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    Overdose on Melanotan II; you won't even know what you are at the end :p
  8. 1Path

    1Path Removed

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    I think a good way to resovle these types of threads forever is for the OP's to ask their Mother's if they are URM's. That should settle the issue right there. :rolleyes:
  9. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here

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    Look at the US Census Website....Caucasian refers to those people of European, Middle Eastern, and North African descent.

    Which means that black people can be caucasians....and white people and can be african american
  10. riceman04

    riceman04

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    not in my book
    you admitted you are "non-black"....soooooooooooooooo...why would you even consider yourself as possibly being a URM?
  11. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    Why not? It seems to me like the whole URM system was designed to be abused. I mean, if my fabulously wealthy, prep-school educated roomate who happens to be of Hispanic origins can claim URM status, I see no reason why anyone shouldnt be able to :rolleyes:
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    The form is inelegant and poorly written, but clearly the point of URM is to address historic disadvantages of certain peoples of minority in this country. It has nothing to do with the net worth or need of the current individual (such as your roommate), it addresses as a group. Thus by African American on the form they clearly mean black, because that is the group with the history of disadvantage in the process in the US.
  13. Orth2006

    Orth2006 Senior Member

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    Hey as usual you know SDNers will jump on this an rip it apart so why dont you save yourself the time and just call AAMC and ask someone who can help you better.
  14. Thundrstorm

    Thundrstorm

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    Check according to how you self-identify in normal life, not according to the perceived benefits. It's not about semantics, or about the exact shade of your skin, or about what other people think. This really isn't rocket-science people.
  15. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    No, the URM system is based off the fallacious notion that a racial group as a whole can in fact be 'disadvantaged' and that these disadvantages can be corrected through a haphazard system of preferential treatment. If it was just, as you claim, based on 'historic disadvantages,' then Latino-Americans most likely would not be eligible for URM status, while East Asian-Americans would be.

    The system is flawed, and has been designed with loopholes big enough to drive a truck through. If the OP can take advantage of it, more power to him/her. If thats what it takes to demonstrate how ridiculous the system is, then its fine with me.
  16. bubbleyum

    bubbleyum Senior Member

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    NO. "african american" is just the pc way of saying "BLACK!"
    GEEZ, PEOPLE, are you that desperate for urm status?
  17. Orth2006

    Orth2006 Senior Member

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    Your argument is slightly misinformed. First "disadvantaged" status is different from URM status as defined by AAMC. Check their site.
    Second the URM system is based (or is now based) on proportions/ratios i.e. The number of admitted students of a certain ethnicity relative to their number in the general population.
    DIsadvantaged status has to do with socioeconomic class (rich or poor).

    You are right that the system is not perfect.

    You are wrong that URM equates to peferential treatment otherwise every URM that applies each year should get into every school they apply to.

    URM status does not relieve any applicant of the need to have good stats. The advantage of URM status however is to allow the Adcom evaluate you on the basis of diversity. Diversity alone cannot get you in but it can really help if you use it to your advantage (Personal statement, interview etc).

    Is this in itself fair to non_URMs - well technically no but in reality yes. Why?
    1) because the system defaults to non_URM.
    2) We live in a diverse world
    3) Doctors are not saints - they are human
  18. Thundrstorm

    Thundrstorm

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    and now we have yet another AA thread
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    It was already one from the very first post. What other reason would one be concerned about getting URM status.
  20. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    Are you kidding me? Preferential treatment is exactly what it amounts to. Just because said preferential treatment is not so extreme as to allow every URM applicant to be admitted to every med school they apply to doesnt mean that they arent being given preferential treatment at all.

    Pick up a copy of MSAR and look up the statistics for Meharry and Howard. I'm not saying those are bad stats, but lets face it, a non-URM applying with stats like that would most likely be rejected everywhere they applied.
  21. Thundrstorm

    Thundrstorm

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    Asking if one qualifies for AA and debating the merits of AA are two different things.
  22. Pewl

    Pewl The Dude Abides

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    Preach it, bon vivant!

    Haha, who am I kidding, if I thought I would gain an advantage by applying as a URM I would most certainly do it! Now if I have phenomenal stats and have plenty of confidence that I wouldn't need such an advantage then I might consider not doing it. Otherwise, I would most certainly take every advantage I could get!

    Now, unfortunately, since I am an East-Asian American I already have an "ORM" box automatically checked right next to my name, meaning "overrepresented minority." On top of that, since my residence in CA I have another ethnicity box checked as well: The "F@cked" box =P
  23. gostudy

    gostudy Dead Giveaway

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    Dude, seriously chill out. What you are saying has been said over and over on SDN. If you want to discuss AA first search this forum or the Drslounge forum and you will see all sides to this argument. Research that then you can come back and post on this thread about something that hasn't been said before.
  24. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    Dude, if people are going to deny basic facts, then I'm going to have to point that out. I'm not attacking anyone, so there's really no need for the admonition to 'chill out.'
  25. gostudy

    gostudy Dead Giveaway

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    I don't consider this:

    a basic fact. Where is the evidence for such a claim? There doesn't exist an alogorithm to getting into medical school. Besides, private medical schools like Meharry and Howard can do whatever they want.
  26. 112

    112 Junior Member

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    i thought the whole idea behind urm status is for schools to increase diversity in their classes and furthermore the medical field....to better reflect the patient population they will be dealing with...
  27. riceman04

    riceman04

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    everything is made to be abused by someone
  28. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    Meharry Medical College:
    Median Science GPA: 2.93
    Median MCAT: 25

    Howard University College of Medicine:
    Median Science GPA: 3.10
    Median MCAT: 24

    These are the lowest numbers for allopathic med schools in the US. If you want to be a total denialist and pretend that this has nothing to do with the fact that these schools almost exclusively admit URMs (more specifically, African Americans) and that plenty of Pakistani and Korean applicants get into US allopathic medical schools with numbers like that, then thats your problem.
  29. Rafa

    Rafa headbutts like zidane

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    I'm always amazed by this whole "chip on the shoulder" thing when it comes to minority status. It's as if URM-related debates seem to bring out the worst in certain (usually non-URM) people. All of a sudden, everyone's got a 'rich Hispanic friend' or 'upper-class African American classmate' who 'never had to struggle for anything' and who's going to get into 'all the good schools' because they're (black/hispanic/native american/etc etc).

    I remember these debates from my pre-collegiate days at CC. As it was pointed out there, so many times, there isn't a single person out there (among those whom constantly complain about the unfairness of affirmative action) who would undergo a color transplant, and remain (black/hispanic/native american/etc etc) for the rest of their lives, in order to take advantage of the presumed assets of checking a particular ethnicity box during college/grad school applications. Not one.

    You don't want to be a minority *all the time*...you just want to be a minority during the application process - and then POOF! non-minority again!
    If that's not possible, then we revert to the wolf in the manger status. You can't use it, so you dun't want nobody 'lse to use it.

    :) It's like high school all over again! (Good to know some things will never change).
  30. Newton Bohr MD

    Newton Bohr MD Senior Member

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    I think it is a bad idea to apply as african-american b/c it shows low character... Also,it will cost you at the interview when they realize you are trying to beat the system. Now if you change your last name and apply as hispanic... j/k :)
  31. riceman04

    riceman04

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    Very well said!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I commend your ability to reason.
  32. gostudy

    gostudy Dead Giveaway

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    You really are upset enough about this to go look up the numbers. Look, everyone and their mother's dog here knows that these two schools have low "stats". Who cares? As I said these schools are private and can do whatever they want. And don't for a minute call this reverse discrimination. Discrimination is being denied to eat at a certain restaurant because of the color of your skin. Being denied to attend certain events because of the color of your skin. Being denied access to certain educational oppurtunities because of the color of your skin. Medical schools are not doing this. If you are white, black, brown, yellow, red, green, whatever YOU CAN go medical school. No school is denying the right to anyone to attend medical school. Everyone has to do what they gotta do to get in. End of story. If you are a so called ORM, then you gotta kill your GPA and MCAT and if you don't then it's on you, not on the black kid you got into Meharry with low "stats."

    And in light of the discrimination theme and in light of the excellent point made by Rafa, back in the day there were a whole bunch of black folks wished they were white. Hell, some of you may of heard of black people "passing" as whites back in the day. However, you will be hard pressed to find other people that would want to be a URM.
  33. uvce

    uvce Member

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    Just thought that I would inject some humor in this thread. In India, there is a classification known as SC/ST (scheduled caste / scheduled tribe), which basically means that if your caste or tribe shows up in a government schedule (i.e. list), you are eligible for special benefits in school admission, jobs, etc. By law, a certain percentage is reserved for people belonging to that category. Obviously there is a mad rush to get one's caste or tribe included in the list, so that you can get VIP treatment. It turned out that 98% of the population in one particular state was included in this list, which got that state the dubious distinction of being "the most backward area of the world"! BTW, this is the same state that has Bangalore - the city known as the silicon valley of India, as its capital.
  34. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    OK, if anyone's coming here with a chip on their shoulder, its you my friend. I never attacked people who get into schools with URM status. Rather, I was clarifying that it is indeed a system of preferential treatment, and that if the OP wants to take advantage of one of its many loopholes, then I see nothing wrong with it.
  35. gostudy

    gostudy Dead Giveaway

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    You are right there is nothing wrong with it.

    Until he his denied admission for being dishonest.
  36. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    Haha...I'm South Asian. I already look Hispanic (in fact, thats what most people think I am before talking to me), I just dont get to check the box :)
  37. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Just the fact that you are calling it a "loophole" suggests that there is something "wrong" with it. A loophole is an ambiguity through which the intent of a writing may be evaded. By using a loophole you are circumventing the desired effect of the rule/system. It may perhaps be legal, but ethical (right versus "wrong") is a totally different question.
  38. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member

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    In answer to the OP's question, I'd say don't check African American! If you are Arab, then whether or not your skin tone exactly corresponds to that, you are considered "white" for the purpose of determining ethnicity for URMs. You may or may not think the system is fair (I don't) but that doesn't mean you should try to cheat it. Also, leaving aside moral and ethical problems, I think it will hurt your chances. If you go into interviews, especially with black interviewers, it's not going to look good that you checked it and don't look it. As another poster said, for the most part, African-American is the pc way of saying "black" And believe me, my white friend who emigrated from South Africa sure doesn't check that box on her applications...
  39. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    I'm calling it a loophole because it no doubt circumvents the intent of URM status. However, I fail to see how thats ethically any worse than hiring a tax attorney to find 'loopholes' in tax codes to save you money, or physicians placing all their major assets in trust to prevent them from being taken away in case of malpractice lawsuits against them. All of these things circumvent the 'intent' of the law.

    One of my friends, also of North African descent, claimed he was African American when applying to med school this year. It didnt cause any problems for him as far as I know.
  40. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    The difference is that the tax attorney would typically consult with the government to get their take on how the law was going to be interpreted before advising their client to use the loophole. I don't think the OP was leaning toward consulting with AMCAS before taking his loophole.
  41. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    He's more African-American in my book than you are, so why not? Unless you were born and raised in Africa, but I believe you were born in the US, correct?
  42. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    I honestly don't mind my situation at all. I'm white, and I feel that I've been treated fairly. The point is not that I am/am not willing to change my race. The point is that it's not fair to give an additional advantage to someone who already has tons of advantages. I don't lose sleep over it though.
  43. Barbarossa

    Barbarossa New Member

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  44. gostudy

    gostudy Dead Giveaway

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    Just consult with people a lot more knowledgable than us. For example, AMCAS and your pre-med advisor.
  45. bon_vivant

    bon_vivant Member

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    Just out of curiosity, if I were the child of, oh lets say Kenyan immigrants, and I was ethnically African (not Indian or European), would it be 'ethically' right for me to check the African-American box, even though I'm not 'black' as the term is commonly understood in the US?
  46. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member

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    I didn't say you were an Arab. If you look at my post, I said "if you are an Arab"... I recognize that there are many different groups in North Africa such as the Berber and the Tuareg. What I'm saying is that none of those ethnicities would qualify as "black", which is typically what African-American refers too. In any case, I don't think you qualify as a URM...
  47. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    OP: If you were born in Africa, regardless of your 'color', I say you should be allowed to check the box 'African American', but only if you are now an American citizen. If you are not an American citizen, you cannot check any box that says "American". This PC stuff is ridiculous and the double standards and double meanings of clear verbage is insane. If you fit the criteria in my first sentence, you are clearly entitled to the phrase "African American".

    My $.02. Not that it's worth much... but still.
  48. Orth2006

    Orth2006 Senior Member

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    Perhaps you are the one kidding me!!

    Consider the following: (Check www.aamc.org for actual numbers and do your own math)


    Assumptions => Black = URM; Asian = MRM (middle rep); WHite = ORM

    In 2005

    Race/Ethnicity: Blacks Asian White
    Applied: 2908 7396 23425
    Matriculated: 1103 3349 11119

    %chance of
    gettin in: 38% 45% 48%


    Heres another:
    Assumption => Black + all others = URM; Asian + White = ORM (Non-URM)

    In 2005

    Status: URM Non_URM Total
    Applied: 6543 30821
    Matriculated: 2536 14468 17004

    %chance of
    gettin in: 39% 47%


    Matriculated URM = 15%
    Matriculated Non_URM = 85%


    Clearly an applicant still has a better chance of getting in if they are in the Non-URM category. So im not sure where the preferential treatment is. SO you see the world hasn't gone crazy - it is still good to be Non_URM when it comes to applying to med school.


    Well If they applied to the schools you mentioned they might not be rejected. These schools are not just URM. There are also NOn-URMs that attend so not sure what the argument is there.

    Ok now im done indulging - back to work for me, then its beer time and ladies and everything done on a Friday night.

    Have a great weekend peeps!!
  49. wuironl

    wuironl Ghostdeni

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    Well done Orth2006, well done.
  50. riceman04

    riceman04

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    Well then your book definitely does not agree with AMCAS's/AMA's either. He can call himself what he wants, but when it comes to defining himself according to AMA's intentions his (and your's for that matter) definition will be questioned.
    We can go on about the term African-American and about its origins...but that is not necessary here.

    I personally am trying to get over the usage of the word "black" b/c it has negative connotations within this society.

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