AAMC Reviewing Definition of URM

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WonderBoy, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. WonderBoy

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    http://www.aamc.org/meded/urm/start.htm

    The AAMC is reviewing its definition for under-represented minority student. Moreover, the Association of American Medical Colleges is asking for you to take part in the dialogue. Check it out.
     
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  3. Street Philosopher

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  4. INeedAdvice

    INeedAdvice Senior Member
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    Here are the options that are on that website:
    Option 1: Maintain four current categories?Black, Mexican American, mainland Puerto Rican, and Native American

    Option 2: Add racial and ethnic groups to the current categories and maintain a definition

    Option 3: Substitute a strong statement on diversity for a URM definition

    Option 4: Maintain a commitment to the four historically identified groups and issue a strong statement on diversity

    Option 5: Replace the URM definition with a new designation, those ?underrepresented in medicine."

    ?Underrepresented in medicine? means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.


    The AMA is actually asking people to respond to this document via [email protected].

    Here's what I'm going to write (if anyone else is writing them, feel free to copy anything below).

    For those that don't agree with affirmative action, option 1 & option 4 aren't an improvement and option 2 makes it worse.

    Option 5 isn't looking at it from the correct statistical standpoint:

    If the system is to be improved, you really can't look at a straight % of URM's in this country anyways.....a fairer observation would be to look at those that are actually interested in competing for med school... and of that segment, you have to look at those that are as qualified when compared to everyone else that is also competing for a spot.

    Here's an analogy: females make up a tiny percentage of Green Berets. One reason is because even though females make up *over* 50% of the population, they are not as interested in competing for the Green Berets. Also, just because there are those females that do compete, doesn't mean that they're going to be as qualified in PROPORTION to the males that compete to get in. Females historically don't do as well when competing against males in an athletic capacity...

    I'm not inferring that the URM's who are competing for spots aren't *capable* of doing as well as non-URM's, but historically, they don't do as well.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    I think there are a lot of problems with the current form of AA, but I also see the other side and agree that some form of AA is good.

    Obviously the current system of "Affirmative Action" or "Reverse Discrimination" (depending on your point of view) isn't working:

    A) Under-Represented-Minorities (URM's) think that they need Affirmative Action (AA) to succeed, but resent being given a stigma, which is given to African-Americans more than any other URM. And resent being thought of as "let into college with lower standards" if they get into a university such as Harvard (or any college for that matter) because it could never be proven otherwise.

    B) The majority of Americans are against it because Caucasians and Asians think lower standards should not apply to someone just because of their race.

    There seem to be two major problems that resulted in having to have AA in the 1st place:

    1) In this country, African-Americans and other minorities have a higher percentage of poor people and as a result, end up in school systems with lesser facilities.

    2) African-Americans and other minorities think that "whites" in the system are prejudiced towards them.

    Concerning issue #1, this is an economic problem and could be dealt with by changing Affirmative Action to take income into consideration (for all races), like many other low-income programs do, such as "HEAD START" which start helping students before they're even in kindergarten.

    In addition, if a true "disadvantage" status could be proven (the same as a low-income status has to be proven to get financial aid), then it should be the major, if not only, status taken into consideration for lower admissions standards. For example, you could prove this status through financial, court/legal documents, police, & doctor reports... (a poor child of any race, a child who has hopped from 1 foster home to the next, or has been abused, or has physical malformations). Eddie Murphy's children wouldn't qualify as being "truly disadvantaged", but foster kids from a poor Caucasian family in the hills of TN or children of a poor Asian family from the ghettos of NYC could qualify...& that's a more fair system.

    Concerning issue #2, there are steps of anonymous test-taking methods or other methods that could be implemented to prevent any racist teachers ("white" or "black") from raising or lowering test scores of students based on their race).

    The reason why I think this solution is a fair compromise is that it will still affect African-Americans and other minorities to a greater extent since their experience of prejudice and their percentage of poor are greater than non-minorities'. Therefore, it will not neglect the fact that URM physicians are necessary for serving the URM community, and it will significantly reduce the "stigma" associated with African-Americans getting into universities.

    And such a solution will also take into account poor non-minority children and disadvantaged children of all races.
     
  5. Ryo-Ohki

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    Add to URM list:

    1. Off-Island Puerto Ricans
    2. Disabled people
    3. Hot Chicks
     
  6. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    4. Me (Gleevec). I am underrepresented in medical schools. According to Amnesty International, 0% of me is in medical school. This is an outrage.
     
  7. Ryo-Ohki

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    Ah, INeedAdvice, you do not know the dirty little secret of AA do you? There's a rather large reason why proponents of AA like BAMN and bollinger do not want a SES system to replace a purely race based system.
     
  8. doctor girl

    doctor girl Senior Member
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    What groups are BAMN and bollinger? I've never heard of them before.

    Besides the fact that it's unfair, what's the dirty little secret of affirmative action????
     
  9. MGoBlue13

    MGoBlue13 Grizzled Member
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    BAMN= Defend Affirmative Action "By Any Means Necessary", a political party headed by non-students that runs for campus officer positions at the University of Michigan.

    Bollinger= Lee C. Bollinger, former president of the University of Michigan, and current president of Columbia University. A truly great president in the history of UM.

    Basically, these Michigan admissions cases are supposed to determine the fate of affirmative action in all institutions that receive public funding. This is not just limited to universities, but also minority hiring in government jobs.
     
  10. Poor Asians get the worst shaft out of this whole thing. :( We're the ORM.

    Gleevec, what you're saying is absolutely true. Affirmative action now does nothing to help poor people (who, regardless of color are the ones who need the most help) over rich people. Affirmative action, if it exists at all, MUST be socioeconomically based rather than race based for it to achieve any kind of worthwhile goal.

    Plus another horrible facet of color based AA is that it creates a sentiment of distrust in physicians who could have potentially benefitted from it. A cardiologist I know, who's black, told me once that AA was the worst thing that ever happened to him. Ever since med school his colleagues have wondered if he made it because of this color of his skin or because of his worth as a physician. He's had to work that much harder to gain the trust of his non-black colleagues and patients. Just something else to consider.
     
  11. ScreamingTreesRule

    ScreamingTreesRule Senior Member
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    I think that's the worst part of it. I know from what I hear from family, friends, and colleagues is that it's hard to not wonder how a black doctor made it through the ranks. Were their standards lowered to let them in? Anyone that I've ever talked to about this subject has indicated that they'd rather not risk it and find out, and instead go to a physician who isn't black soley because they can't be totally sure of the person's qualifications. What does that say about race relations? It sucks. It makes it all the harder for an intelligent and bright black person to climb the social ladder in this society because everyone will wonder how they got there. The whole thing is bad for everyone involved. :(
     
  12. Selisa

    Selisa Senior Member
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    just wanted to add a little side note to this whole affirmative action discussion...

    which group do you think "benefits" the most from affirmative action? surprise surprise... women! look it up if you don't believe it.

    there are other sides to affirmative action...it just that race and color get the most attention, press, and flames.

    just my $0.02 ... tootles!
     
  13. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler
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    Seriously, I'm going with Gleevec's "option #6." It just makes so much more sense.
     
  14. isidella

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    Yeah, women have benefited from AA, but it was more than that. Women also started a movement, which is now why every American woman is labeled a "bitch." She staked her claim and was successful at it.

    If AA was just about gender, I think women would have called it off by now because it served its purpose in the gender equality problem.

    So its %50 female/%50 male in medical school. Just like the population. Sounds good to me.

    I wonder how close medical school enrollment is to representing the % of population based on race. Better check out that link.;)
     
  15. isidella

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    Zero data. Helpful. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Selisa

    Selisa Senior Member
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    really... :)
     
  17. INeedAdvice

    INeedAdvice Senior Member
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    Good point isidella. Although, I think women are more "owning" that title and not caring if an insecure man thinks that of her because she's successful....

    What's interesting about females in American schools is that they are becoming, more often than not, the top high school graduates/valedictorians. I think it's a great trend and it's probably due to the years of equal opportunity for them to excel at sports (Title 9) and to gain confidence in what was previously "male dominated" activities/careers...

    However, I am reluctant to say that just because a population is X % of Y, that it should be reflected in med school. I already stated this above:

    If the system is to be improved, you really can't look at a straight % of URM's in this country anyways.....a fairer observation would be to look at those that are actually interested in competing for med school... and of that segment, you have to look at those that are as qualified when compared to everyone else that is also competing for a spot.

    Here's an analogy: females make up a tiny percentage of Green Berets. One reason is because even though females make up *over* 50% of the population, they are not as interested in competing for the Green Berets. Also, just because there are those females that do compete, doesn't mean that they're going to be as qualified in PROPORTION to the males that compete to get in. Females historically don't do as well when competing against males in an athletic capacity...
     
  18. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    I read a report that in several states that women undergrads are starting to outnumber male undergrads.

    Sounds like a little affirmative action is in order favoring males. ;)
     
  19. Carbon

    Carbon I saved your life.
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    :D :clap:

    Gleevec, you crack me up.
     
  20. Ryo-Ohki

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    AA in its gender based form was set up in a "plus factor" as envisioned by Powell in higher education much more so then AA in its racial form. The reality is that URM Matriculants are scoring about a standard deviation below non-URM Matriculants in entrance standardized testing. This insanely large gap never occurred between female Matriculants and male Matriculants.

    In 2002, AA is no longer about gender in higher education. It is completely about race.

    Remember, Jennifer Gratz and Barbara Grutter are both girls. Don't they seem real f-ing happy about AA?
     
  21. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    This is already happening in some schools. At UGA, males get an extra "point" in undergrad admissions. Some white female applicants tried to bring a suit against the school because it. I'm personally totally against affirmative action...I think it's sad because I think the decreasing numbers of men in higher education has a lot to do with so much of the "help" given to women. Affirmative action for women, esp in the sciences (i.e. things like Society of Women Engineers) makes it seem like it's "exceptional"/abnormal somehow for women to excel in math and science. Kind of insulting, no? That's why the verbal sections on the PSAT are weighted more, so more females are national merit scholars. I made an 800 on my math SAT; my boyfriend made an 800 on the verbal. I can compete with any male in math/science damn it without an extra leg up on the competition. Don't pity me.
    :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  22. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Insane

    So women sue because they are underrepresented in schools and want to be equally represented. But when they are overrepresented, they are suing against the very affirmative action policies that brought them into overrepresentation. Oh sweet delicious irony! :p

    Got a link for that, I wanna hold on to this one.

     
  23. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    Well, I think for ones that the males should bow down before all the women going into med school. All sorts of people were projecting a surplus of physicians but because a lot of the women entering medicine are working fewer hours than their male counterparts, the projected surplus has not become a problem. Still more job openings than physicians, just the way every med student wants it to be!
     
  24. HouseHead

    HouseHead Powdered Floor Queen
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    Hi everyone. I'm an NYU grad, applying/interviewing as we speak.

    The positive weighting of URMs, from what I've read on the AAMC website, is done to "increase diversity" at medical schools. It is not, contrary to traditional AA programs, done to equalize disadvantages. Thus, the economic argument does not work, because the entire goal of the program (or whatever you want to call it) is different from what we've come to associate with AA.

    Personally, I think the URM focus should be completely changed. I do not believe that "diversity" is necessarily best served by providing URM applicants with a racial advantage. As the lawyer in the UM cases said on NPR this week, "diversity" would be just as well served by admitting someone who lived in a Cambodian refugee camp or grew up on the West Bank, neither of which would qualify as URMs.

    The "diversity" argument, as made by AAMC and others, makes the conclusion that increasing URM enrollment will result in increased services for underserved communities. I think this is an inappropriate conclusion. Coming from an underserved (according to AMCAS) community myself, it seems obvious that people are more likely to return to serve in whatever community they came from. Thus, weighting applicants who live in or grew up in underserved communities seems a more appropriate way to address the fundamental concerns at hand.

    Ultimately, I say that both economic considerations and community of origin considerations would be appropriate replacements for the URM classifications. These changes would better address the concerns regarding both underserved communities and disadvantaged applicants, neither of which are adequately addressed by focusing solely on race.
     
  25. Nirvana

    Nirvana Senior Member
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    Really? Have women sued to be a part of the Affirmative Action policies??

    I had always thought that the programs were initially started to help minorities and then women got tacked on as to be protected. Some minority groups argued that it was done so as to refocus the program *away* from helping minorities.
     
  26. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Depends on the program. Cant think of too many specific programs that are pro-women, but there are several summer programs, NIH, and undergraduate scholarships for women in science and engineering at the very least. Title IX also comes to mind. Ill post some others once Im done writing my essays=P
     
  27. Nirvana

    Nirvana Senior Member
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    Those are monetary scholarships.

    I was wondering if women have sued Admissions of colleges to increase the percentage of women as minority groups have?
     
  28. All-Star14

    All-Star14 Wants to Rock Wit U
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    Hmm...I'm a URM and a LONG way from being rich...I wonder where I stand.:confused:

    Did I also mention that I'm a female?
     
  29. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member
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    Anyone who avoids going to a black physician bc of this fear is an idiot. The fact remains that while AA may "lower the bar" for URMs on the undergrad med level, everyone is ultimately responsible for passing the boards. Red, black, brown, white or yellow, it seems to me that the system is designed so that everyone meets a universal level of competancy...
     
  30. INeedAdvice

    INeedAdvice Senior Member
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    That's just it. Haven't you ever heard of P=MD? :p

    In other words, you have to be pretty brain dead to not pass your med classes & the boards.

    And the reality is that Affirmative Action is a consideration to accept a URM of lower standards and with lower stats.

    There is a definite stigma associated with AA and it's mainly associated with African-Americans.

    That's why I proposed a modification of AA. If it were modified for poor kids (of all races) and for disadvantaged kids (of all races), not only would it not be thought of as "Reverse Discrimination", I think it would reduce the stigma that is associated with African-Americans getting into school.
     
  31. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member
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    I think ppl studying for their boards would disagree with this statement. Still, I understand your point. I think that some sort of modification should happen to make the system fair to the poor, regardless of race. I think its pretty hard to argue that the medical school application system favors those that are already in the upper echelons of society and I freely admit that as a middle class black female that I have connections, resources and knowledge about "the system" that my less affluent white counterparts don't have. Still ppl need to acknowledge the fact that a person of color, (esp black/brown ppl) regardless of economic status still suffer from discrimination. Its unfortunate that AA has caused some to question the abilities of black physicians but in my eyes, the alternative would be a similar.

    I remember reading an anctedote in a book about ethnicity and medicine about an older white patient, after getting a black physician asking for a "real" doctor. I don't think this had to do with any fear that the black doctor was the product of AA rather it had more to do with the fact that the pt didn't believe that a black person could be intelligent/skilled enough to become a doctor. I really believe that with or without AA, many would still question the competancy of a black physician and thus would be less likely to admit a black student to their school bo their own racial prejudice. Nothing except time can change the racist attitudes that many hold. In the absence of AA, this perception of blacks as being less skilled/intelligent would undoubtedly persist and as a result, less black students would be admitted.
     
  32. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    I think that incident was on ER as well.
     
  33. cg1

    cg1 Senior Member
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    While I'll agree that there's prejudice against Blacks, there is more prejudice against ugly people or flaming homosexual men or the morbidly obese or people with really bad facial acne scars. :eek:

    While that sounds tongue in cheek, it's sort of a serious statement of how human nature works. l'd guarantee that a person who fits into one of those categories will get rejected first before an average looking "normal" Black person because the interviewer was prejudice against "fat" people or unattractive women with bad facial acne or ...

    So, should we have a program that protects those people as well? They run across more prejudice everyday than minorities.

    Classic. :laugh:
     
  34. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member
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    Nope, b/o in my opinion, the flaming homosexual black male or black acne scarred fat person would still be discriminated against to greater extent than their white counterparts. Perhaps more importantly, the flaming homosexual has the option of butching it up and the fat person can lose weight and/or go on Accutane. Unless you're Jacko, one's race is pretty much permanent and unchangable...
     
  35. ScreamingTreesRule

    ScreamingTreesRule Senior Member
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    To add. While an African American can't change their facial features, hair type, skin color, etcetera, some people that are 400 pounds can't lose weight. And if they did lose weight, they'd probably still look pretty bad with all of the hanging skin that's left over. Same with someone who has had their nose removed due to cancer. Or any other kind of incredibly scarring disfigurement.
     
  36. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member
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    And I seriously do feel bad for the small percentage of the pop that this is true for. Still by and large the cases aforementioned are to some degree can be controlled by the individual/correctable-- race is not.
     
  37. INeedAdvice

    INeedAdvice Senior Member
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    Sounds like we're in agreement on that.

    But what about a "disadvantaged" status in addition to low-income? I wrote about this before:

    For example, you could prove this status through financial, court/legal documents, police, & doctor reports... (a poor child of any race, a child who has hopped from 1 foster home to the next, or has been abused, or has physical malformations).

    It would cover the five hundred pound person that you're talking about, as well as someone who is financially poor. ;)
     
  38. Tuesday Weld

    Tuesday Weld Senior Member
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    Unfortunately, this perception of african americans is being reinforced by affirmative action in the public's eye. It makes it seem that african americans can't achieve academic success without having lowered admission standards.
     
  39. CatsAreKillers

    CatsAreKillers Senior Member
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    I just wrote to that e-mail address.


    But just because a "black, acne scarred, fat person" has one more strike against them than a "white, acne scarred, fat person" shouldn't mean that someone who has medical problems (obesity or whatever) or someone who has a disfigurement should be not be given lower standards if blacks are going to be given lowered standards. In another scenario, a non-acne scarred thin black person has only 1 "strike" against them, but a white fat, acne scarred person has two strikes against them. ;)

    Those conditions are all potential "strikes" against a person. So if one condition (being black) is being given consideration when looking at admissions, then the other conditions should be given the same consideration.
     
  40. CatsAreKillers

    CatsAreKillers Senior Member
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    I finally got around to copying and pasting this to [email protected].

    Wonder when they'll make their decision?

     

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