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Affirmative Action and Pharmacy schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Omegadramon, May 16, 2007.

  1. Omegadramon

    Omegadramon 2+ Year Member

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    May 16, 2007
    Atlanta
    I know that all pharmacy school's number 1 priority is to attract the brightest students that will help build their education. I understand it is the responsibility of the potential applicant to best fit into the "Ideal Student" mold that Pharmacy schools want. I also understand that this should be done through legitimate ways, such as outstanding academic performance, ie, GPA, PCAT scores, Research and prior experiences in the field of Pharmacy.

    That being said (whew), do any pharmacy school engage in activities such as 'quotas' or preferentially take in minorities over a more academically qualified non-minority applicants? We've all heard of this when we applied for undergrad, but is it an issue in professional schools, were the number of minorities are even more so 'underrepresented'?

    This is an honest question, people. I'm not here to offend anyone or say that anybody got in a pharmacy school "because they were a minority". Just wondering. Thanks.
     
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  3. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    I'm not a fan of affirmative action and I'm a minority member!:)

    I just think that the action, though somewhat noble in appearance, is trying to fix the racial disparities at the wrong level. Instead of artificially "curving" the racial numbers in colleges, more focus should toward eliminating the disparities in schools before college and promote programs that get underserved groups of people on the right track for college. That way, these applicants will truly be worthy and race doesn't become an issue at all during admissions.

    Anyway, that's just my rant.:D

    I haven't heard of quotas at pharmacy schools.
     
  4. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member


    Based on stats from AACP I'd say most schools either don't because they don't want to and aren't being forced to or don't because they don't have to.

    I was looking for another user and it appeared places that served few minority populations (Idaho, North Dakota) generally had few minorities. Other areas that where minorities made up a larger percentage of the population generally had a relatively decent smattering of them on their roles. AACP has stats up to 2002 (or maybe 2004) that breakdown student populations by race which you can use for comparison.
    http://www.aacp.org/Docs/MainNavigation/InstitutionalData/7374_Enrollments.pdf
    Starts with stats by gender, page 14 starts stats by race.


    I don't know if there is a concerted effort to meet any quotas, but if there is, it's not being broadcast too loudly.
     
  5. sprinkle0420

    sprinkle0420 New Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 29, 2006
    fremont, ca
    I don't think there are very many that employ affirmative action, or maybe they just don't advertise it...the only school I can think of is the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
     
  6. RX CARE

    RX CARE Eye Have You!! 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 3, 2006
    Temple University will boast of its diversity anyday. They do not advertise quotas or affirmative action, but they sure do have a syntax they follow for office use, that ensures a medley of races in every program. If you go into any program, you can see it. It's funny coz, in the programs the different racial groups tend to form 'cliques' or 'crews' in at different corners of the classes...lol
    but it doesn't hurt anyone:)
     
  7. eelo

    eelo 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Hmmmm...... you said "more academically qualified," which is different from "more qualified." That's not the only qualification that is required for entrance into pharmacy school. Someone can have an average GPA and PCAT score but may have significant other things that make them more of a standout applicant, such as a degree, experience, excellent letters of recommendation, or whatever. Also, you have to keep in mind the mission of the school: in-state public institutions are more likely to take an in-state applicant who may not be as "academically qualified" (whatever that is) as, say, an out-of-state applicant. Similarly, some schools may be looking to increase opportunities for specific minorities;if it's in their charter (possibly the HBCUs?) and that's their mission, there isn't much that can be done about it.

    That being said, I don't think any graduate or professional school is going to accept someone who is unqualified solely because they are of the 'desired' race or ethnicity. I can see where race/ethnicity might be a tie-breaker, or mgiht even give someone an advantage in certain situations, but that same advantage may have also been achieved with spectacular LORs, PCATs, or experience.
     
  8. andrewattheU

    andrewattheU 7+ Year Member

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    May 17, 2007
    I know University of Washington gives an advantage to minorities for pharmacy school as it does this for all of its programs as it "prides itself on diversity" So I'm probably not going to get in there for pharmacy school even though I am doing my undergrad work there. Oh well as long as I get in somewhere I'll be happy. I don't think all schools are so concerned with having enough minorities... I would just say certain ones are.
     
  9. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    That's a good point that I hadn't recognized as parallel to affirmative action.
     
  10. suntzu

    suntzu 7+ Year Member

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    'Andrew', I assume you're male? Don't you know that officially makes you a minority at UW pharmacy school? :D
     
  11. andrewattheU

    andrewattheU 7+ Year Member

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    May 17, 2007
    lol I didnt think about that, but at the same time males might be a minority for a reason
     
  12. Zeke1955

    Zeke1955 Texas Tech Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 5, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    I'll put it this way... I looked at some schools (UT Austin sticks out in my head at the moment) and according to their admissions statistics, certain racial groups (which they had listed) were +/- 3% of an average value every year. Such as every year they admitted 22 latino-descent students out of 130 total, and 90 "caucasians" etc. etc. (not actual numbers by any means). That lead me to believe that diversity was certainly being "promoted" at schools like that.

    Either way, I said it before on another forum... I don't think it's going to keep anyone out that should have gotten in (but it might...).
     
  13. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Ivory Tower
    I know of a few schools that have separate pools for minority and "non-minority" applicants. That said, I'm sure everyone meets the same minimum level of qualification. The idea is that diversity is good for the learning environment and for the profession.
     
  14. athena09

    athena09 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 27, 2007
    =)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  15. Tenken's Smile

    Tenken's Smile Wanderer 2+ Year Member

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    Aug 24, 2006
    Golden Apple
    Big Notice! Affirmative Action does NOT consider unqualified applicants; it only gives more preference to less qualified + minority!
     
  16. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Of course that's not to say that all minorities getting in are less qualified.
     
  17. andrewattheU

    andrewattheU 7+ Year Member

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    May 17, 2007
    thats another problem with the current implementation of affirmative action, those minorities that are more qualified are sometimes thought to only have gotten in by their ethnicity, even though they would get in regardless.
     
  18. UMichFinn

    UMichFinn 2+ Year Member

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    May 22, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Recently in Michigan they passed a bill called Proposal 2, which states that schools "shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."
    University of Michigan used to factor in minority status in their admissions practices and had several lawsuits against them for it, so it will be interesting to see what happens to the level of diversity on campus...
     
  19. kittycatblues

    kittycatblues 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 1, 2006
    And that Michigan law is one reason that while many schools of pharmacy want to increase/promote diversity do it in a more quiet manner, so as not to attract so much attention that it would invite legislation against such activities.
     
  20. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    If it is a state school - funded in part or completely by public money - you can bet your life there is AA. That is a fact. While some states are looking into removing AA from law (like Michigan) - the majority of states in the union have not, and do not intend to in the near future, to rectify the situation.

    - What I have said above was from a report given on MSNBC - but I could not find it for reference... It does however, seem logical - if not fair.

    AA is an attempt at leveling the playing field. It asserts that minorities have greater entry barrier obstacles to obtaining a professional degree. Without question - it means that "less qualified applicants will be accepted over more qualified applicants" - this is by simple rule of numbers.

    Having said that it is in essence wrong - I believe it to still be necessary. There simply is not enough minorities (not counting you crazy asians!!!) with professional degrees. The people holding the degrees should be representative of the people they serve. Right now, we have kids looking up to Pacman Jones instead of their math teachers... they are simply pursuing the wrong things - and that has to change before we can be rid of AA.

    ~above~
     
  21. Zeke1955

    Zeke1955 Texas Tech Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 5, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    While I don't disagree that children look up to thugs and non-law-abiding types like Pacman Jones and the like, I don't see at all how affirmative action makes kids look up to their minority MD, DO, pharmacist, dentist, orthodontist, or lawyer.

    You say that kids are choosing the wrong things, but again, I don't see how affirmative action changes their mind. Sure, if it's easier for them to get into a professional school by eliminating barriers to entry, then kids entering college may be more likely to choose a professional degree and its associated career path. However, I don't think that small barriers to entry are what's making the Pacman an idol. It's just marketing and nonsense culture trends and children's' susceptibility to it.

    What am I missing here?
     
  22. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Your right - AA will not make anyone look up to the OD down the street... what it does do is make the motivated kids from that background more likely to succeed. By lowering standards (and make no mistake, it does) it allows people who would not be able to get in a better chance.

    Now does this fix the problem - NO - does it help the problem in anyway - NO - but to ignore that there is an issue would be morally (if not ethically) incorrect. This is how society has chosen to deal with the issue. Until measures are put in place to help these communities help themselves - you will continue to see a need for this type of program (as long as society still sees the need for diversity). If you did not have AA - you would simply see less diversity.

    Its important to note that this entire discussion has been played out before - go here:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=316872&highlight=minorities+pharmacy

    and read my posts (50 - 65). I have several posts highlighting my feelings concerning AA - I dont like it - I dont agree with it - but it is there, and its the only thing we have to deal with this issue right now.

    ~above~
     
  23. korincs

    korincs 5+ Year Member

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    May 6, 2007
    I know the intention of this thread was to get information about the present state of AA in pharmacy school admissions. My apologies for continuing with opinions about AA in general. That said. . .

    I think what irritates a lot of people is the simple way that skin color is considered in all of this. As time goes on, the little boxes they ask you to fill in are going to be more and more irrelevant. Which one does a 1/4 black, 1/4 jewish, 1/4 latino, 1/4 white applicant fill in? If their skin color is still George Bush-white do they still deserve special designations? I went to high school with a guy who was 1/2 black and absolutely looked white. To top it off, he was one of the richest kids in school and a bully to top it off! What about gays? Man, you want to talk about a tough life full of discrimination. . . They don't even have their own box!

    I agree with the spirit of AA, but the way it is employed is insulting. I like to see that a few schools are focusing on general challenges in life. I went to school near a reservation [I'm 50% Nez Perce] and many of the white kids there needed help more than I did!

    The problems of misrepresentation need to be addressed long before people are applying to professional school, IMO.
     
  24. Zeke1955

    Zeke1955 Texas Tech Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Amarillo, TX
    I agree with that... I'm 1/4 arabic, 1/2 mixed euro, and about 1/4 of mixed native American (of course, with no documentation to back this up officially). My unofficial native American heritage aside, Arabs aren't recognized as an under represented minority... doesn't bother me a bit. I'm glad that others can't use my race to say that I "got in just because of my skin color." On top of that, even if there was a box for arabic (which I guess "technically *could*" fall under "Asian"), I would have still checked white... Yeah anyhow, I guess we'd all better let the thread get back on track...
     
  25. andrewattheU

    andrewattheU 7+ Year Member

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    May 17, 2007
    people will look up to famous sports athletes and movie stars no matter what race the person or famous person is ... I know very few people that look at their teacher or doctor or pharmacist as a role model no matter what race they are.
     
  26. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/inforeg/race.pdf (see p.6-7)

    According to US Census bureau Middle Easterners and N Africans (Egypt, Libya, etc.) are White. Asians are Far East Asia and Indian subcontinent. So technically as a white arabian you'd probably not be considered a minority. Regardless of how you feel about it, the government doesn't necessarily see it the same way you do all the time. (Also brought up in the other thread on minorities in pharmacy school)
     
  27. brasilia01

    brasilia01 10+ Year Member

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    California
    Wow- thats crazy, I never thought about that before, but your right they do classify Middle easterners and North Africans as white. Thats weird.
     
  28. evilolive

    evilolive Member 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 1, 2006
    Amusingly that's one trait that all ethnicities have in common :)
     
  29. Zeke1955

    Zeke1955 Texas Tech Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Amarillo, TX
    Farmercyst, I'm 100% aware of that. I know I'm not considered a "minority," and that I couldn't care less about it... I think that's along the lines of what I suggested... ? (Quote from my earlier post below)

    " Arabs aren't recognized as an under represented minority... doesn't bother me a bit. "


    But hey, the thread has gotten way off topic, so I'm just gonna leave this as is =).
     
  30. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    You're right, I should have been a little more clear. The info was just being thrown out to the general public using you as an example and the Census Bureau as proof. I couldn't use me as an example because I'm as pasty white as they come with no ethnic diversity in the background that I'm aware of. I didn't mean to tell you what, from your post, you obviously already knew. The purpose of the information was because to keep AA in perspective it's necessary to know how the government classifies individuals before they can know whether they'd even qualify as a minority for AA purposes.

    Even so, I'm not sure how many schools use the census definitions when determining their own policies with diversity. I'd say you'll probably get more points for a well written PS than you will for checking the race box. But then again, I've never seen an adcom at work. You could always ask the new pharmacy mentor in the mentor forum.
     

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