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Disadvantage and URM

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by maybemed2013, May 2, 2012.

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  1. maybemed2013

    maybemed2013

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    Got the answer I needed.
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  2. Shalashaska

    Shalashaska

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    As long as you're not Egyptian, you're fine. Hope I don't get banned for saying that, I hope people get the joke.
  3. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    "Disadvantaged" is a self-designation meant to identify applicants of any race who grew up (age 0-18) in economically disadvantaged households and/or who came from communities that had a shortage of primary care providers.

    If you don't fit that description, you might not want to self-identify as "disadvantaged". In particular, I'd suggest avoiding any self-revelations of emotional issues from childhood neglect or abuse. It sounds like baggage that the adcom might prefer you not bring with you to medical school.
  4. maybemed2013

    maybemed2013

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    K. I will not list myself disadvantage.
  5. light warrior

    light warrior

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    lol
  6. V5RED

    V5RED MS-0

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    I hate when people do this.
  7. Marge

    Marge

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    Is there an income cut-off? My parents were at <$100,000 for most of my childhood.
  8. V5RED

    V5RED MS-0

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    Trolling/sarcasm?

    If not, $100,000 is a lot of money and nowhere near disadvantaged seeing as ~80% of US households earn under $100,000.
  9. Marge

    Marge

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    Money was always tight, but it's true that all things considered, we survived. Lots of tuna salad sandwiches and spaghetti with meatless sauce, but we survived. Nvmd.
  10. gumbyj

    gumbyj

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    So that was a serious comment? You survived with <$100,000 household income a year?

    Please, please tell me you are joking? If so, it is funny. If not....
  11. jessiemsy

    jessiemsy

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    hahaha! I really hope this person is considering at the AVERAGE income for a family of 4 in the US is $40,000
  12. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    How much less than $100,000? How many kids?

    Let me put it to you this way, the disadvantaged section asks some yes/no questions including something to the effect of "did your family receive government assistance?" That would be Medicaid, public housing, free school lunch, LINK (food stamps), cash payments (welfare).

    Single mom raising 2 kids on a motel maid's paycheck. Older kid applies to medical school.

    Teen mom on drugs can't raise kid who ends up being raised by grandparents. Kid joins the military then applies to medical school.
  13. Marge

    Marge

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    Kind of. Maybe not.

    My parents are educators and my mom didn't work because she was raising four kids. Money was tight, but we survived. Only after I left for college did my dad start to crawl up the ranks of academe.
  14. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis SGU MS-4

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    4/5, check.

    Grew up in a third-world country without dad? Check.

    I still didn't put disadvantaged.

    Silly Egyptians :rolleyes:
  15. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    The 2012 poverty guidelines define poverty for a family of 6 (in 2012 dollars) as $30,970. http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/12fedreg.shtml

    If your father is an academic and your mother is well educated, you might want to be very careful about self-identifying as disadvantaged. You don't want the adcom to think +pity+ All applicants have the opportunity to list annual family income and answer some questions about family size and socioeconomic status so that information can be taken into consideration.
  16. kduck

    kduck

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    This is called being frugal, not being disadvantaged. Didn't eat steak every night? Doesn't make you disadvantaged.
  17. Marge

    Marge

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    Seem like we were frugal, not disadvantaged. The issue has been addressed, thanks everyone!
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  18. Wishing4MD

    Wishing4MD

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    I was also having issues with this. I'm a URM and my family struggled for money while they were revalidating their careers in this country up until I was about 14. We almost lost everything we had because we didnt have much money. I'm 24 now, though. We are doing pretty well now ( their combined income is about 80,000$ a year) but my parents are in their 60's and retiring soon, so I've had to work throughout undergrad to help pay for some of my things so they can save money for retirement since they came to this country when they were in their 40's. So I was disadvantage for half of my life in the U.S, but not so much anymore (luckily). So I'm not sure how to approach this. Can anybody offer so input, please?
  19. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    Disadvantaged is not about paying for medical school or getting financial aid.


    If you worked while in college, list your employment in the experience section and the hours that it took away from your opportunity for other activities will be taken into account.

    "Disadvantaged" is an attempt to identify and take into consideration the backgrounds of applicants who did not have the advantages enjoyed by most applicants from age 0-18: food on the table, a safe neighborhood, an good educational environment, freedom to be a kid without the responsibility to earn money to help with household expenses, opportunities to learn things outside of the classroom through such things as camp, scouts, trips, participation in athletics, music lessons.
  20. Doctor246853

    Doctor246853

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    Why do people erase the question after it is answered? Thats stupid. If I have a similar question I will not know that it has been answered because the OP changed the question to "I got the answer" :mad:
  21. jfirefox

    jfirefox

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    Don't mean to threadjack, but I had a question relating to disadvantaged status as well....

    I don't wanna be too specific.... But basically a parent had an illness, we spent time trying to provide care ourselves, eventually needed to pay for nursing facility care, medical bills etc... My parent received SSI, and later my sibling and I received social security until age 18.

    I'd consider my family to be middle class... Income when both parents worked ~$50K possibly more; after illness was $35-40K (single parent income). I also worked part time ~$10K.

    I am not URM, lived in an average middle class neighborhood, didn't have to worry about food etc... There are plenty of people who are worse off than I am; However, at the same time it definitely was not normal...

    Wondering if I should put disadvantaged down?
  22. DanGee777

    DanGee777

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    What if an applicant grew up in a rural area that was definitely regarded as medically underserved, but was raised in an upper-middle class family (and marked the appropriate family income level on the application.) Now Obviously this applicant wouldn't select the yes option for disadvantaged on the app, but is it still okay to select the yes option for medically underserved community?The applicant wouldn't be answering yes to try to gain any sort of advantage, but just wants to answer the question honestly. Would the applicant be likely to face scrutiny in an interview for checking that box?
  23. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    I don't know if that box is an option this year for people who don't self-identify as disadvantaged.

    AAMC has a list of counties that are underserved and automatically will put a (U) next to the name of your county if it is underserved (by the numbers) and (R) if your county is rural (again, I'm sure that there is an objective measure of rural-ness and list of counties that qualify). You'd be surprised of the areas that qualify an underserved including Manhattan (New York County) with its 4 medical schools. (Because who practices primary care in Manhattan? almost no one.)
  24. DanGee777

    DanGee777

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    It is still an option this year as far as I know. I submitted the AMCAS last year so I still have the print out, but I withdrew two days after submitting and before verification (so I'm not considered a re-applicant) and the PDF printout from last year has my home county marked with both a (U) and an (R) next to it. I haven't submitted AMCAS this year, obviously, but my application has already been completed and ready to go on June 5th (was able to copy-paste grades and activities from last year's app, etc.). All sections are now listed as complete and there was no message that popped up or anything telling me that I couldn't check the underserved box but not the disadvantaged box. So assuming that it does get verified with no check mark next to disadvantaged but yes to underserved, what do you think the result might be? The county in which I grew up was not just short on primary care doctors, but had shortages in most specialties as well. Two anesthesiologists doing the work of six, two ob-gyns doing the work of 5, no subspecialty surgeons (closest ones were 40 miles away). Every doctor in the county worked at least 60 hours a week, even the PCPs. I know why my county got marked with an (R) on top of the (U). The total population of the county is still less than 50,000 today - it is one of the 5 least populous counties in NY state, and also one of the poorest. I'd say the county has more cows than people but it would be a masssive understatement.

    Anyway, there are two reasons that I want to list it as underserved. The first reason is that the county really is underserved! The second reason is that I would like to practice in this county someday, and I think that letting certain schools know that I would be interested in practicing in a county with a massive shortage of physicians of all types might be an asset? They probably won't buy that argument from some kid who lived in Manhattan his entire life. I don't mind talking about this in any interviews that I receive -- I just don't want to get ripped for it like I would be if I listed myself as economically disadvantaged (which I certainly was not).

    While I have you here, btw, I know you're an ad-comm. What do you think of the recent rash of posts on SDN with Indian-American applicants saying they're going to list themselves as black on the AMCAS, of Egyptian-American applicants saying they're going to do the same, etc. They could be trolls, of course, because I would LIKE to think that someone wouldn't really act so irresponsibly by blatantly lying on their application. I'm really hoping that it isn't that easy, because many people who grew up in underserved areas like I did (although I wasn't personally disadvantaged) have Native heritage, and if we aren't claiming URM status, then those applicants shouldn't be able to either.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  25. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis SGU MS-4

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    You should not concern yourself with the affairs of other people.
  26. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    I concern myself with the affairs of other people.... that's why I come to SDN.

    Go ahead and click any button you please.... it might help, it can't hurt (given that you won't self-identify as disadvantaged despite being raised in a higher SES family).

    I posted earlier this week about a study showing that being interested in FP and coming from a rural area to be a good predictor of serving as a FP in a rural area after graduation. Schools that have a mission to train FP for underserved areas may take notice.
  27. DanGee777

    DanGee777

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    It's fraud, and that's the bottom line. People applying for entrance into schools that will give them a foundation in the training require to become a physicians should be more honest than the guy or gal next to them. Someone falsifying their race on the application for admission seems to me to be a big red flag that this person might do other unethical things during and after medical schooling is complete.


    Thanks. You said "given that you won't self-identify as disadvantaged despite being raised in a higher SES family." I'm a bit confused -- I can't self-identify as disadvantaged, right? My family was almost certainly in the top 2% of income earners for the county. I will check that box I think since there appears to be no problem with doing so.


    I am actually interested in child psychiatry but I suppose psychiatry is considered primary care in some contexts. We didn't have any child psychiatrists nearby us growing up -- we had two psychiatrists, and one of them only worked 20 hours per week. The county I'm talking about is Lewis County, NY (up there near the Canadian border, so I'm guessing you might not be familiar with it), population 27,000, making it the fourth least populous county in the state. It is also the second poorest county in the state, barely ahead of the Bronx (although with strikingly different demographics). It has a high rate of uninsured compared to the more populous Upstate NY counties. I don't know if any of the SUNYs or Upstate NY private schools specialize in training FPs and other primary care docs, but I know that a couple of the schools offer a rural FP track -- not what I'm interested in, however.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  28. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis SGU MS-4

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    That was more of a universal "you"; sorry if anyone really thought I directly addressed them.

    I don't think that the training of YOU to become a doctor should depend on whether your neighbor or your best friend might be construed as being disadvantaged / more fitting to another school's "mission".

    If lying to get an advantage is a predictor of future unethical behaviors, then we are all unethical (unless, of course, you have never lied in your life). "Race" wasn't an issue until I came to America. Race, unfortunately, will still be an issue as long as we hold it to be an issue.

    There are more things in heaven and earth to worry about than the skin color of a person you probably will never know.
  29. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    Sorry, there, DadGee777. I shouldn't have used the phrase "despite being", I should have used "because you were " in its place. You are correct that you should not self-designate as "disadvantaged" if you came from a family that was economically stable.

    I don't know Lewis County but I would venture to guess that there is too little work in Lewis County for a child psychiatrist to make a living there. So, being from an underserved county and wanting to go into a subspeciality (rather than primary care: internal medicine, OB-GYN, pediatrics, family medicine -- the gatekeepers that provide routine care and then refer patients to specialists for major problems) will not get you any special consideration unless someone thinks that your perspective (rural NYer) is a unique one that is otherwise missing in their student body. Some schools are seeking to train students for rural areas ... if you aren't interested in that, then that school is likely to choose someone who is, over you, and you can see their point.

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