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Affirmative Action Poll

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by owen_osh, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. owen_osh

    owen_osh Senior Member
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    For some time, I've been curious about fellow SDNers' opinions about affirmative action, so after hearing about the URM thread, I thought I'd post a poll. Anyway, if anyone comments, please be curteous and respectful.
     
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  3. Ryo-Ohki

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    LOL, I like the way the poll forces you to vote once for the other side.

    By the way you have phrased the reasons for pros and cons, I am relatively sure you are pro-AA.
     
  4. owen_osh

    owen_osh Senior Member
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    By the way, the poll refers to admission practices in allopathic medical schools, so it should be of primary interest to the people in this forum.
     
  5. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    For anyone following the World Cup, this is a striking example of why anything but meritocracy fails. In case you didn't know, there were many poor calls during the games, some deciding the outcome of the games. Here is a quote from a respected soccer journalist:

    There's a bit of political correctness here in selecting referees, instead of on ability.

    It's rubbish to think that because a country is a member of Fifa they should have a representative.
     
  6. Amit1

    Amit1 Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by geneman:
    <strong>For anyone following the World Cup, this is a striking example of why anything but meritocracy fails. In case you didn't know, there were many poor calls during the games, some deciding the outcome of the games. Here is a quote from a respected soccer journalist:

    There's a bit of political correctness here in selecting referees, instead of on ability.

    It's rubbish to think that because a country is a member of Fifa they should have a representative.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Way to choose your words carefully. Otherwise you will be hounded like the poster of the URM post. I don't know if anybody caught this but he was playing devil's advocate to probe some important issues - not to be racist or a member of the KKK as one poster suggested.
     
  7. jot

    jot

    aren't you one and the same? not that it matters though - cheers
    -jot
     
  8. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by geneman:
    <strong>For anyone following the World Cup, this is a striking example of why anything but meritocracy fails. In case you didn't know, there were many poor calls during the games, some deciding the outcome of the games. Here is a quote from a respected soccer journalist:

    There's a bit of political correctness here in selecting referees, instead of on ability.

    It's rubbish to think that because a country is a member of Fifa they should have a representative.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">My friend, then how do you explain a league with shabby refereeing that doesn't use "political correctness", such as, oh I dont know, anyone watch the NBA playoffs this year?

    Bad officiating knows no color or creed
     
  9. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    Please let's all try to keep this thread decent.

    It's inevitable that people will get offended, but that doesn't mean that we can't at least have a dignified conversation. I think everyone, including myself, gets really emotional about these topics. Regardless, I think we're all mature enough to handle it if we try.

    That said... I think we should try to figure out why the average stats of URMs are significantly lower than non-URM. Is the MCAT biased? Are professors biased? Is it an economic issue? Whatever... If we figured that out, then maybe we could design a new system that was more fair so that URMs and non-URM would have comparable stats. Then we wouldn't need A.A.
     
  10. silvercholla

    silvercholla Smarter than the avg bear
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    I've always been against affirmative action. I understand why it instated and yes at the time it was necessary. But to be honest I take offense to it now. I want to know that I got a position or a spot in Medical school because I worked hard for it not because I was a URM. If another applicant who was more qualified and not a URM didn't get a job that I did because of my ethniity then I would be embarassed to work for that company. And I know what's coming, so to answer the question before it's been asked. I have turned down three jobs because after I found out that I was hired under AA. Like I said I want to be hired based on my qualifications and hard work not based on my skin color...
     
  11. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    RP, my last post was made in jest (well, sort of, NBA referees are really awful)

    I posted a long diatribe about this in the old URM thread, which i guess must have haywire since its no longer here anymore. But, the root of the matter I think is determining whether URMs throughout there educational career are on equal footing with non URMs. I dont think one can honestly say that there isn't an appreciable economic disparities (and yes, government transgressions against minorities as recent as 40 years ago still impact this disparity today). The URM generally is subjected to a sub par public school education, and if they make it to college, are facing some financial challenge they must assist in alleviating. Once again, at least from my college experience I'd guess the ratio of "I'm here cause daddy has a lot of money" kids to "I'm here because I'm a minority" at most post secondary educational instituions is pretty darned high. How to adjust for this inherited discrepancy is where we need work. As much as I feel there are compelling reasons to increase diveristy in medicine (IOM report on healthcare access disparities a couple months ago), I do see serious fault in letting in unqualified students just for the sake of increasing diversity. Can we create more enrichment programs for talented yet disadvantaged (i.e. even including poor whites from appalachia) students? More funding to scholarship programs for kids who could not otherwise attend these institutions without some extra economic stress? Once again, if I had these answers you might have elected me to office already, but I'm just throwing it out there.
     
  12. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    ps dont mind my broken grammar, i'm writing between working here.
     
  13. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by DW:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by geneman:
    <strong>For anyone following the World Cup, this is a striking example of why anything but meritocracy fails. In case you didn't know, there were many poor calls during the games, some deciding the outcome of the games. Here is a quote from a respected soccer journalist:

    There's a bit of political correctness here in selecting referees, instead of on ability.

    It's rubbish to think that because a country is a member of Fifa they should have a representative.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">My friend, then how do you explain a league with shabby refereeing that doesn't use "political correctness", such as, oh I dont know, anyone watch the NBA playoffs this year?

    Bad officiating knows no color or creed</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">No offense, but your logic doesn't pan out. Of course, there will be leagues that do not use political correctness in their officiating and and still make errors. Officials are human beings and make mistakes. However, it would be inferred that had the league sacrificed further quality for political correctness, there would have been even more egregious errors. Conversely, had FIFA not selected referees based on country as opposed to proven ability, the outcomes of several games might have been more fair.

    The other day, I tried posting my take on the whole affirmation issue but the thread was deleted as I was typing. So here is a truncated version of what I had to say, which I think most reasonable people (pro-AA and vs-AA) would be able to agree with:

    I believe in affirmation action's goals. I think it is important to maintain diversity among the physician population but, at the same time, it is crucial to adhere to the concept of meritocracy -- basing rewards on ability. We must decide as a society where, on this spectrum, we want to lie. This is why open discussion and debate is so important.

    There are two critical flaws in affirmative action as it exists today.

    First, it is largely based on race or ethnicity. I won't go into the details of why this is bad, because I think it is obvious, but it is bad for BOTH beneficiaries and those who do not gain assistance (e.g., leaves an inferiority stigma to those who benefit and breeds contempt from those who lose out, along racial lines). I propose that the primary factor in affirmative action shift from that of ethnicity to socioeconomic status. This is not a new idea, IS politically correct and acceptable to both sides, and should be moved into the de facto status as rapidly as possible.

    The second flaw is more subtle. It deals with the timing at which affirmative action affects the process. Currently, assistance is given at the end-stage of the process -- that is, at the application stage. There are implicit certain assumptions that are questionable at best, which I won't into (e.g., those not benefiting from AA would not have gotten as far as they did if they were disadvantaged). Instead of providing assistance at the end of the process, I propose that support be given at the BEGINNING and DURING of the process. For example, we must identify those individuals who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and grant them with full monetary subsidies for educational activities (e.g., Silvan Learning Center, Boys Club, SAT/MCAT preparation companies, etc.). In this way, affirmative action will be providing EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, not guaranteed bias.

    Everyone, disadvantaged or not, needs a FAIR shot at their achieving their dreams. This does not mean AUTOMATICALLY helping people who have been disadvantaged. It means providing them with the tools to COMPETE on an equal footing.

    Just my two cents. Send all death threats to Simon, judge of American Idol.
     
  14. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    slivercholla: That's very admirable, but what if the elimination of A.A. resulted in a decline in the number of URMs applying and being accepted to medical school? THe number of URMs applying to medicial school has been steadily decreasing already. Based on the average MCAT scores and GPAs of URMs, if AA was eliminated, chances are there would be significantly fewer URMs entering medical school.

    I think the major problem is that not enough URMs APPLY to medical school. I think many people are under the impression that a proportionate number of URMs are applying to medical school... when that's really not the case. URMs are very poorly represented in the applicant pool and that's why they have to be accepted at greater rates in order to make a medical school class that IS proportionate. I think that if more URMs could be encouraged to apply to medical school, the competition between them would get tougher and consequently average MCATs and GPAs would rise.

    Just think... an Asian male student knows he needs to get at least a 30 MCAT to have a good chance at medical school, because competition is tight within his ethnic group. Whereas, an African American student looks at the averages for URMs and draws the conclusion that he/she only needs a 27 to have a great chance. Now who do you think is going to study harder for the MCAT? Basically what I'm saying is that an Asian student is going to bust his butt to get a 30, no matter what it takes... if he has to take Kaplan or retake 3 times... or whatever. However, the African American student isn't going to be as worried about it... because, within his ethnic group, the competetition isn't as tight, simply because there aren't as many African Americans applying.

    I retook the MCAT with a 31 because I wanted a better chance at a top 20 school. However, if I were a URM, I wouldn't have retaken, because with a 31 I'd have a decent chance at any top 20 school.

    Do you see what I'm saying? When the competition isn't rough, no person in his/her right mind is going to put themselves through hell when they don't need too. But if more URMs could be encouraged to apply, then the competition would get rougher for URMs.

    This is just my theory, I hope it doesn't offend anyone... but if it does, just know I'm not 100% sound on this idea, it's just one hypothesis I came up with.
     
  15. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    "There's a bit of political correctness here in selecting referees, instead of on ability.

    It's rubbish to think that because a country is a member of Fifa they should have a representative.[/qb][/QUOTE]My friend, then how do you explain a league with shabby refereeing that doesn't use "political correctness", such as, oh I dont know, anyone watch the NBA playoffs this year?

    Bad officiating knows no color or creed[/qb][/QUOTE]

    No offense, but your logic doesn't pan out. Of course, there will be leagues that do not use political correctness in their officiating and and still make errors. Officials are human beings and make mistakes. However, it would be inferred that had the league sacrificed further quality for political correctness, there would have been even more grevious errors. Conversely, had FIFA not selected referees based on country as opposed to proven ability, the outcomes of several games might have been more fair."

    Once again, i was joking initially, but i must clarify. My logic makes perfect sense to any true basketball fan, even if you root for the Lakers. Did you actually watch the 2002 NBA playoffs :confused: ? There were some TERRIBLE, and I mean TERRIBLE calls made, as "grevious" as errors can be. Like the infamous Doug Christie getting elbowed in the face by Kobe and getting called for a fould? Or the even better Kobe bulldozing Mike Bibby on the inbounds no call? Once again, there's no political correctness in picking up NBA refs (with those two female refs who aren't in the league now notwithstanding), but I couldn't help think that the NBA refs must have gotten a "how to blow big calls in big games" lecture from whoever refereed the infamous "Hand of God" Match between Argentina and England.
    Sure, there were a lot of bad calls up to this point, but it doesn't looked rigged in favor of the dominant teams (i.e. Shaq, Jordan, etc). I played two years in high school, but I dont know a lot about the international futbol scene, this is just a b-baller fan perspective.

    What? Oh yeah, and we need to fix AA, equality in med schools, or something.
     
  16. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    but, other than that whole referee comment, I couldn't agree with you work geneman :cool:
     
  17. 2badr

    2badr **Switch**
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    UHH ...ok,maybe I missed something,but why do you have both support and oppose afirmative action on your poll and yet on Q #3,you assume-it seems that the person has voted in opposition to it. It seems you are forcing people to make one particular choice.If one has already stated that he/she supports AA why would you then REQUIRE them to answer the oposition question in Q #3? Tell me if I missed your whole point....
     
  18. owen_osh

    owen_osh Senior Member
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    I apologize for the design of the poll. This is the first poll I've posted, and I didn't realize everyone would have to vote both ways. There might be a silver lining, though, in that this allows people who are undecided or who can see both sides of the issue to voice their opinions.

    Whatever. If you don't want to vote for the opposite side in questions 2 and 3, just put "other."
     
  19. diego

    diego Junior Member
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    relatively prime,

    it's amazing that more people (including myself) have not looked at the difference in academic standards for URM's vs. non in the manner that you have suggested. That's not to say that this is the only problem, but it certainly is a major one. Except for the most dedicated of students, most people (in my experience) are inspired to academic acheivement through incentive. For example, I'm sure a thought process like this is familiar to most SNDers: if I get a 4.0 in high school, I'll get a great college where, if I do well there, I'll give myself a better chance to get into a top med school. How many of you would honestly have studied so hard if you knew that you didn't have to? Or what if you felt confident that you could get say a 28 on the MCAT with relatively little preparation, but to ace it, you would probably have to take a course a shell out the $1200 that it would cost. If you knew that a 28 would be good enough, would you still spend the money. I'm not saying that every URM thinks in this way, but it's crazy to think that knowledge of these truth will not change a person's mentality when it comes to studying. Just something for those who are AA bashers to think about when they make the assumption that their URM collegues are less qualified or less intelligent simply because URM stats are on average lower.
     
  20. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    Diego and RP, you're both making excellent points. However, wn regards to your point about if you only had to get a 28 on the MCAT you probably wouldn't pay that 1200 bucks to prep for it, please do consider another part of that: which people might likely NOT be able to pay that 1200 bucks in the first place? Do you think its possible that some URM (including poor whites and other groups) are just not in good enough financial standing to afford it? College is expensive as hell to many people, and that first 1200 bucks for the review course is just part of the total expense of applying to medical school. I could see that some minority students might just blow it off cause they think they're at some advantage, but I dont think thats always the case. Not saying that I can explain everything, but just a nugget for your consideration.
     
  21. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    DW: Yes, true, some people might not be able to afford the class... but that's not something unique to URMs. Many poor white kids can't afford it either... yet many of them still manage to score higher than a lot of URMs who can afford the class. There are probably more middle-class URMS than you think. The URM middle class is growing... more and more URMs are being able to afford the classes and the prep materials, etc... yet the stats discrepancy isn't improoving... and applications are decreasing.

    I just don't think the finacial thing explains it all... maybe it explains some of it, but I think there's more to the story.
     
  22. diego

    diego Junior Member
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    DW,

    i completely agree with you, and to be sure, there are other ways to prepare for that awful test besides taking a course. However, I don't think the fact that some people can't afford a prep course discounts my point at all. Perhaps my point could be better stated this way: Most pre-meds (URM or not) are neither rich to the point that $1200 dollars for a course in no problem, nor so poor that there is no way they could possibly come up with the money. Most people are somewhere along that economic continuum. But if you were to take any two people coming from similar economic backgrounds, one being URM, one not, it is almost certain that the non-URM would be more likely to take the course, despite the high cost. Why? because the non-URM knows that the 28 MCAT they would get (using my previous example) would hurt him or her much more than it will hurt his URM collegue. That is simple economics, and once again, that has nothing to do with intelligence or how much one deserves to go to medical school.
     
  23. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by relatively prime:
    <strong>DW: Yes, true, some people might not be able to afford the class... but that's not something unique to URMs. Many poor white kids can't afford it either... yet many of them still manage to score higher than a lot of URMs who can afford the class. There are probably more middle-class URMS than you think. The URM middle class is growing... more and more URMs are being able to afford the classes and the prep materials, etc... yet the stats discrepancy isn't improoving... and applications are decreasing.

    I just don't think the finacial thing explains it all... maybe it explains some of it, but I think there's more to the story.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">We've got a good debate going here, thanx for keeping it civil and lets keep this one going.

    Well, first, I did acknowledge the disadvantaged white student in my prior post. Before you make the claim however those students performs just as well as other poor ethnic students, you need to provide me with some actual data to back that one up, no offense but as a scientist I just cant take that claim at face value. The URM middle class is growing, but still, the economic stratification in black and hispanic communities is still significantly skewed towards the lower end, just cause a handful of people have made it since the civil rights movement doesn't mean we're all on equal footing YET.

    And, I couldn't agree with you more, the financial thing is probably only part of the problem. But, this is just my opinion on that part of the issue.
     
  24. charleb11

    charleb11 Junior Member
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    I do not feel that any URM actually sits there and thinks that I can get a lower score and still get in so why take the class. You are making URM's out to be lazy and somewhat devious. Just because a person may be a URM that does not mean that they strive to be less than the best. I'm still not sure how I feel about affirmative action but I do know that many people look at URM's differently because they want to assume that they were given help getting into medical school.
     
  25. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by diego:
    <strong>DW,

    i completely agree with you, and to be sure, there are other ways to prepare for that awful test besides taking a course. However, I don't think the fact that some people can't afford a prep course discounts my point at all. Perhaps my point could be better stated this way: Most pre-meds (URM or not) are neither rich to the point that $1200 dollars for a course in no problem, nor so poor that there is no way they could possibly come up with the money. Most people are somewhere along that economic continuum. But if you were to take any two people coming from similar economic backgrounds, one being URM, one not, it is almost certain that the non-URM would be more likely to take the course, despite the high cost. Why? because the non-URM knows that the 28 MCAT they would get (using my previous example) would hurt him or her much more than it will hurt his URM collegue. That is simple economics, and once again, that has nothing to do with intelligence or how much one deserves to go to medical school.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You do make a logically sound point, but I personally dont think MOST URMs walk into college thinking "I'm just going to get a 28 cause that's all I need". It might be the case with some people, but that cuts across demographic lines (read: the really connected rich kid). I busted my *ss to get a 35 on that damn test, and I think its unfair to everyone, especially us fellow URMs who just want to get into a school that honestly thinks they are qualified to contribute, if someone wants to skate by and explicitly use some cheap angle to their advantage.

    I would argue that we should realize other things (some financial, etc) that might be contributing to the lower scores of URMs outside of not needing to score higher. But, your considerations are well argued.
     
  26. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Hey guys I am a URM and have right now a 4.0 (senior) and will be taking an MCAT course come next year. I think that sometimes we just see the URM's that slack off or whatever yet we do not *see* the non-URM's that slack off or whatever. There are all kinds of folks in either category that slack off, are gunners, etc. Like RP said there are just not *enough* URM's applying period, so the applicant pool for the URM is not as broad as the non-URM pool. If you only had let's say 4000 non-URM applying and half were accepted I am sure that the average gpa, mcat would also be *lower* for those accepted. Does this mean that they are dumber, not as intelligent or hardworking?no. Again these figures can be found on the AAMC web page under FACTS.
     
  27. owen_osh

    owen_osh Senior Member
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    One of the central issues in the affirmative action debate seems to be the question of why URM's have lower numbers than whites and asians. The usual explanation I hear on SDN is:
    1) The overall URM pool is smaller.
    I've never really understood how this explains anything.
    2) URM's are disadvantaged, etc.
    Maybe, I don't know if there are specific numbers on the economic situation of URM applicants compared to non-URM. In any case, URM's must be college students to be applying to med school, so they have an advantage that many Americans of all racial backgrounds lack.

    The possibility I've never seen raised is the issue of racial differences. I think as doctors and student doctors we should all be aware that genetic racial differences exist, because those differences are relevent to the health of patients (eg glaucoma, sickle cell, etc.) If genetic racial differences exist in some areas, is it impossible that they also exist in the area of intelligence?

    I have read about some studies that show that the mean score on IQ tests for African-Americans was one standard deviation below the mean for whites, and the mean for Mexican-Americans was one half sd below the mean for white. The mean for Asian-Americans is 2-3 points higher than that of whites.

    If there are variations in intelligence distributions that correspond to genetic variation between racial groups, then should we ignore the fact or possibility or investigate it? I'm not really sure; maybe it's too dangerous and harmful to look into. But on the other hand, maybe a scientific understanding of intelligence would be helpful.

    What if low intelligence were thought of as a disease that could be treated? Perhaps in the future genetic engineering could make us all truly equal.
     
  28. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by owen_osh:
    <strong>One of the central issues in the affirmative action debate seems to be the question of why URM's have lower numbers than whites and asians. The usual explanation I hear on SDN is:
    1) The overall URM pool is smaller.
    I've never really understood how this explains anything.
    2) URM's are disadvantaged, etc.
    Maybe, I don't know if there are specific numbers on the economic situation of URM applicants compared to non-URM. In any case, URM's must be college students to be applying to med school, so they have an advantage that many Americans of all racial backgrounds lack.

    The possibility I've never seen raised is the issue of racial differences. I think as doctors and student doctors we should all be aware that genetic racial differences exist, because those differences are relevent to the health of patients (eg glaucoma, sickle cell, etc.) If genetic racial differences exist in some areas, is it impossible that they also exist in the area of intelligence?

    I have read about some studies that show that the mean score on IQ tests for African-Americans was one standard deviation below the mean for whites, and the mean for Mexican-Americans was one half sd below the mean for white. The mean for Asian-Americans is 2-3 points higher than that of whites.

    If there are variations in intelligence distributions that correspond to genetic variation between racial groups, then should we ignore the fact or possibility or investigate it? I'm not really sure; maybe it's too dangerous and harmful to look into. But on the other hand, maybe a scientific understanding of intelligence would be helpful.

    What if low intelligence were thought of as a disease that could be treated? Perhaps in the future genetic engineering could make us all truly equal.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ok, people, before you reply to this one, remember keep it civil.
    The URM pool being too small basically contributes because it decreases intra group competition. Its not a major factor, but dont disallow it.
    Just because a URM is in college doesn't mean he or she is not all of a sudden not disadvantaged (poor whites included). If you have to work to support yourself, dont have the same pre collegiate preparation, and have other economic difficulties, the playing field is far from level.

    In regards to the IQ test, well, these same economic factors can apply to the IQ test as they might the MCAT. Even the smartest kid won't flourish academically if you put in a substandard school. And since its 2/3 science, the MCAT does a good job of avoiding it, but i do feel that someof our intelligence barometers (the SAT for example) are culturally biased.

    Now, in regards to genetic differences, lets first realize that "race" is a rather ambigiuous social construct. Although these categories are useful in disease determinants and other traits, there are appreciable variations in races on many genetic factors, intelligence probably being one.
    Before you start making quantum leaps to cloning the "stupid" gene in certain populations, mind you its the confluence of genetics and ENVIRONMENT that produce behavior. You've heard accounts on many SDN threads of highly academic minority students, but you put them in highly unfavorable environmental conditions, and they wouldn't have peformed as well. On the flip side, maybe someone should try taking an affluent kid out of his boarding school, put him in an inner city high school, and see how he performs. End result might not be as favorable. So, maybe if you did do some large scale genetic of some groups, you'll find a fluctuation or two. But we're all the same species here, and some small genetic differences can only be manifested in behavior if the environmental conditions permit so.
     
  29. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by relatively prime:
    <strong>slivercholla: That's very admirable, but what if the elimination of A.A. resulted in a decline in the number of URMs applying and being accepted to medical school? THe number of URMs applying to medicial school has been steadily decreasing already. Based on the average MCAT scores and GPAs of URMs, if AA was eliminated, chances are there would be significantly fewer URMs entering medical school.

    I think the major problem is that not enough URMs APPLY to medical school. I think many people are under the impression that a proportionate number of URMs are applying to medical school... when that's really not the case. URMs are very poorly represented in the applicant pool and that's why they have to be accepted at greater rates in order to make a medical school class that IS proportionate. I think that if more URMs could be encouraged to apply to medical school, the competition between them would get tougher and consequently average MCATs and GPAs would rise.

    Just think... an Asian male student knows he needs to get at least a 30 MCAT to have a good chance at medical school, because competition is tight within his ethnic group. Whereas, an African American student looks at the averages for URMs and draws the conclusion that he/she only needs a 27 to have a great chance. Now who do you think is going to study harder for the MCAT? Basically what I'm saying is that an Asian student is going to bust his butt to get a 30, no matter what it takes... if he has to take Kaplan or retake 3 times... or whatever. However, the African American student isn't going to be as worried about it... because, within his ethnic group, the competetition isn't as tight, simply because there aren't as many African Americans applying.

    I retook the MCAT with a 31 because I wanted a better chance at a top 20 school. However, if I were a URM, I wouldn't have retaken, because with a 31 I'd have a decent chance at any top 20 school.

    Do you see what I'm saying? When the competition isn't rough, no person in his/her right mind is going to put themselves through hell when they don't need too. But if more URMs could be encouraged to apply, then the competition would get rougher for URMs.

    This is just my theory, I hope it doesn't offend anyone... but if it does, just know I'm not 100% sound on this idea, it's just one hypothesis I came up with.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">RP,

    I see what you're saying. But do you honestly believe that the reason URMs score lower than non-URMs is because "URMs won't bust their butt" since "the competition isn't as tight"? Do you really think this is a bigger factor than both socioeconomics conditions and the "anti-intellectual culture" (as many prominent African American intellectuals call it) prevalent amongst certain minority groups?

    Ironically, your theory actually suggests that we should ABOLISH or at least fundamentally reform affirmative action, because it holds back the full potential of URMs (since they don't need to "bust their butt").

    Your theory probably has a small degree of merit, but its important to keep it in context with the big picture.
     
  30. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by DW:
    <strong>"There's a bit of political correctness here in selecting referees, instead of on ability.

    It's rubbish to think that because a country is a member of Fifa they should have a representative.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">My friend, then how do you explain a league with shabby refereeing that doesn't use "political correctness", such as, oh I dont know, anyone watch the NBA playoffs this year?

    Bad officiating knows no color or creed[/qb][/QUOTE]

    No offense, but your logic doesn't pan out. Of course, there will be leagues that do not use political correctness in their officiating and and still make errors. Officials are human beings and make mistakes. However, it would be inferred that had the league sacrificed further quality for political correctness, there would have been even more grevious errors. Conversely, had FIFA not selected referees based on country as opposed to proven ability, the outcomes of several games might have been more fair."

    Once again, i was joking initially, but i must clarify. My logic makes perfect sense to any true basketball fan, even if you root for the Lakers. Did you actually watch the 2002 NBA playoffs :confused: ? There were some TERRIBLE, and I mean TERRIBLE calls made, as "grevious" as errors can be. Like the infamous Doug Christie getting elbowed in the face by Kobe and getting called for a fould? Or the even better Kobe bulldozing Mike Bibby on the inbounds no call? Once again, there's no political correctness in picking up NBA refs (with those two female refs who aren't in the league now notwithstanding), but I couldn't help think that the NBA refs must have gotten a "how to blow big calls in big games" lecture from whoever refereed the infamous "Hand of God" Match between Argentina and England.
    Sure, there were a lot of bad calls up to this point, but it doesn't looked rigged in favor of the dominant teams (i.e. Shaq, Jordan, etc). I played two years in high school, but I dont know a lot about the international futbol scene, this is just a b-baller fan perspective.

    What? Oh yeah, and we need to fix AA, equality in med schools, or something.[/QB][/QUOTE]

    DW, DW, come in it's Launchpad... sorry I couldn't resist.

    Of course, I watched the game... huge basketball fan here. But let's get back from the theoretical to the actual...
     
  31. diego

    diego Junior Member
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    posted by DW

    "You do make a logically sound point, but I personally dont think MOST URMs walk into college thinking "I'm just going to get a 28 cause that's all I need". It might be the case with some people, but that cuts across demographic lines (read: the really connected rich kid). I busted my *ss to get a 35 on that damn test, and I think its unfair to everyone, especially us fellow URMs who just want to get into a school that honestly thinks they are qualified to contribute, if someone wants to skate by and explicitly use some cheap angle to their advantage.

    I would argue that we should realize other things (some financial, etc) that might be contributing to the lower scores of URMs outside of not needing to score higher. But, your considerations are well argued."

    To be fair in this conversation, and also perhaps to lend a little credence to my arguments, perhaps I should diclose a little about myself. I am also a URM, did very well academically, and scored well enough on my MCAT's to be highly competitive regardless of my race. Like you, I don't necessarily agree with the idea that one should use the system so that one can get by doing the bare minimum. I wanted to do well in everything I did well before I knew that I definitely wanted to be a doctor. But we must remember, most people are not Type A's. I can honestly say that in most of the classes in which I received a B+ (just to make an example), it wasn't because I wasn't capable of A work. It was because I chose not to put in the time necessary to get an A or A-. Conceptually, I probably understood the course material as well if not better than others who may have ended up with a better grade. Instead of being really anal about every homework assignment, every short answer question, every minute detail, I focused on the big picture. Does that make me a lazy student? I don't think so. It just meant that I had more time to play sports (I played varsity soccer), hang out with friends (I liked being social), or a host of other activities. This is not a choice to be lazy, it's a choice not to become obsessed with academics all the time. Are you saying that you have always performed to you highest potential? The truth is no one ever does, but some of us come closer to our potential than others. you are right when you say that mentality cuts across all demographic lines. But since URM's are probably the largest and most obvious group who as a whole can fall back on such a mentality, it is only natural that this group will be singled out. When you are a URM, you know that a B here and there will not hurt your chances of acceptance. I'm sure that there are other reasons why URM's have lower stats (certainly the lack of URMs applying in representative numbers is a valid one), but this has to be a consideration in this seemingly neverending debate.
     
  32. silvercholla

    silvercholla Smarter than the avg bear
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by relatively prime:
    <strong>slivercholla: That's very admirable, but what if the elimination of A.A. resulted in a decline in the number of URMs applying and being accepted to medical school? THe number of URMs applying to medicial school has been steadily decreasing already. Based on the average MCAT scores and GPAs of URMs, if AA was eliminated, chances are there would be significantly fewer URMs entering medical school.

    I think the major problem is that not enough URMs APPLY to medical school. I think many people are under the impression that a proportionate number of URMs are applying to medical school... when that's really not the case. URMs are very poorly represented in the applicant pool and that's why they have to be accepted at greater rates in order to make a medical school class that IS proportionate. I think that if more URMs could be encouraged to apply to medical school, the competition between them would get tougher and consequently average MCATs and GPAs would rise.

    Just think... an Asian male student knows he needs to get at least a 30 MCAT to have a good chance at medical school, because competition is tight within his ethnic group. Whereas, an African American student looks at the averages for URMs and draws the conclusion that he/she only needs a 27 to have a great chance. Now who do you think is going to study harder for the MCAT? Basically what I'm saying is that an Asian student is going to bust his butt to get a 30, no matter what it takes... if he has to take Kaplan or retake 3 times... or whatever. However, the African American student isn't going to be as worried about it... because, within his ethnic group, the competetition isn't as tight, simply because there aren't as many African Americans applying.

    I retook the MCAT with a 31 because I wanted a better chance at a top 20 school. However, if I were a URM, I wouldn't have retaken, because with a 31 I'd have a decent chance at any top 20 school.

    Do you see what I'm saying? When the competition isn't rough, no person in his/her right mind is going to put themselves through hell when they don't need too. But if more URMs could be encouraged to apply, then the competition would get rougher for URMs.

    This is just my theory, I hope it doesn't offend anyone... but if it does, just know I'm not 100% sound on this idea, it's just one hypothesis I came up with.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Though I am not in med school (read "REAL HELP NEEDED") I did take the MCAT with the knowledge of URM's underrepresentation and I have to disagree that a African American would settle for a 27 if he/she knew that's all was needed. I think that almost natural inclination for pre meds and med students to excel would override someone being so blantantly lazy. I never did well in school (long story) but the competitive atmosphere of that exam brought the best out in me (except for phy :p ). I don't think that a premed would purposely be that way if they are they should do what I did and take a few years to decide if medicine is really for them. Affirmative Action gives a false sense of accomplishment and harbors animosity. A person should rest on his/her laurels not on a government incentive.
     
  33. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by efex101:
    <strong>Hey guys I am a URM and have right now a 4.0 (senior) and will be taking an MCAT course come next year. I think that sometimes we just see the URM's that slack off or whatever yet we do not *see* the non-URM's that slack off or whatever. There are all kinds of folks in either category that slack off, are gunners, etc. Like RP said there are just not *enough* URM's applying period, so the applicant pool for the URM is not as broad as the non-URM pool. If you only had let's say 4000 non-URM applying and half were accepted I am sure that the average gpa, mcat would also be *lower* for those accepted. Does this mean that they are dumber, not as intelligent or hardworking?no. Again these figures can be found on the AAMC web page under FACTS.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Let me respond to your statement, "If you only had let's say 4000 non-URM applying and half were accepted I am sure that the average gpa, mcat would also be *lower* for those accepted."

    Where do you get the confidence to say something like this? I heard this same ridiculous argument when someone said, "The only reason Asians have a higher median income than whites is because there are so few of them relative to whites." Using the same speculative analysis, one equally argue, "The only reason Hispanics have a lower median income than whites is because there are so few of them relative to whites." Huh?

    Low applicant number IN NO WAY implies ANYTHING about average GPA/MCAT scores. Perhaps the only thing it MIGHT imply is the variability in scores, but year after year the averages remain the same.
     
  34. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member
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    Poeple, notice that there is no message from a URM message. I would like to hear what URM people think about the whole thing.

    Needless to say that all non-URM will not ever know what an African or Mexican American knows, where he grew and what he thinks. While most of non-URMs and their parents who are applying to med schools graduated from college and grew up in good neighbourhood where they could get fine education and so on. A lot of URMs, African Americans, are the first ones to go college and the first ones to go to med school in their families. It is not their fault that their parents could not afford living in a nice house in a nice parents theirfour a person had to think how to earn money for his family and could not really got to a nice school because there was no such a school in the neibourhood. So he went through high school working and doing poorly. When he ap[plied to college, this is taken under consideration and he gets in to a nice school with lower than avg. grades. Because the poor education background, he is not able to do good in college and that repeats itself if person goes to med school.
    This does not happen to everybody. There are a lot wealthy URM families who can afford their child's education and so on.

    Just think what that person and his parent had to go through to get this point. I feel they do desrve getting some help in acceptances.

    I read some posts regarding an URM person getting a job instead of a qualifying non-URM applicant. This is a load of ****. There are a lot of these stories going around. but they are not really applicable to medicine.It is maybe applicable to a job in Burger king or Walmart. If you are a overqualified surgeons with 20 yr of experience, why somebody is going to hire a newbie say with non experience. Many people think that they are "overqualified" for a position; however, it maybe not true. They get pissed and tell this kind of stories to the others.

    And again, I would like to heart from a URM person. Sorry for the grammatical mistakes, did not have time to reread it.
     
  35. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by DW:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by owen_osh:
    <strong>One of the central issues in the affirmative action debate seems to be the question of why URM's have lower numbers than whites and asians. The usual explanation I hear on SDN is:
    1) The overall URM pool is smaller.
    I've never really understood how this explains anything.
    2) URM's are disadvantaged, etc.
    Maybe, I don't know if there are specific numbers on the economic situation of URM applicants compared to non-URM. In any case, URM's must be college students to be applying to med school, so they have an advantage that many Americans of all racial backgrounds lack.

    The possibility I've never seen raised is the issue of racial differences. I think as doctors and student doctors we should all be aware that genetic racial differences exist, because those differences are relevent to the health of patients (eg glaucoma, sickle cell, etc.) If genetic racial differences exist in some areas, is it impossible that they also exist in the area of intelligence?

    I have read about some studies that show that the mean score on IQ tests for African-Americans was one standard deviation below the mean for whites, and the mean for Mexican-Americans was one half sd below the mean for white. The mean for Asian-Americans is 2-3 points higher than that of whites.

    If there are variations in intelligence distributions that correspond to genetic variation between racial groups, then should we ignore the fact or possibility or investigate it? I'm not really sure; maybe it's too dangerous and harmful to look into. But on the other hand, maybe a scientific understanding of intelligence would be helpful.

    What if low intelligence were thought of as a disease that could be treated? Perhaps in the future genetic engineering could make us all truly equal.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ok, people, before you reply to this one, remember keep it civil.
    The URM pool being too small basically contributes because it decreases intra group competition. Its not a major factor, but dont disallow it.
    Just because a URM is in college doesn't mean he or she is not all of a sudden not disadvantaged (poor whites included). If you have to work to support yourself, dont have the same pre collegiate preparation, and have other economic difficulties, the playing field is far from level.

    In regards to the IQ test, well, these same economic factors can apply to the IQ test as they might the MCAT. Even the smartest kid won't flourish academically if you put in a substandard school. And since its 2/3 science, the MCAT does a good job of avoiding it, but i do feel that someof our intelligence barometers (the SAT for example) are culturally biased.

    Now, in regards to genetic differences, lets first realize that "race" is a rather ambigiuous social construct. Although these categories are useful in disease determinants and other traits, there are appreciable variations in races on many genetic factors, intelligence probably being one.
    Before you start making quantum leaps to cloning the "stupid" gene in certain populations, mind you its the confluence of genetics and ENVIRONMENT that produce behavior. You've heard accounts on many SDN threads of highly academic minority students, but you put them in highly unfavorable environmental conditions, and they wouldn't have peformed as well. On the flip side, maybe someone should try taking an affluent kid out of his boarding school, put him in an inner city high school, and see how he performs. End result might not be as favorable. So, maybe if you did do some large scale genetic of some groups, you'll find a fluctuation or two. But we're all the same species here, and some small genetic differences can only be manifested in behavior if the environmental conditions permit so.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">In response to: "If you have to work to support yourself, dont have the same pre collegiate preparation, and have other economic difficulties, the playing field is far from level."

    A large proportion of college undergraduates work to support themselves and many of these also have economic difficulties. It's impossible to have the same precollegiate preparation (there will ALWAYS be people who have more or less access to educational programs). In short, affirmative action cannot function as a micromanaging program. You need broad and clear criteria, similar to welfare.

    In response to: "Even the smartest kid won't flourish academically if you put in a substandard school."

    I vehemently disagree with this. There is a well known and widely accepted analysis of a particular so-called "substandard" or "underprivileged" school. In this public school, there is a large African American student population and an equally large Vietnamese student population. Remarkably, there is a striking difference in their academic performances as measured by standardized tests. The Vietnamese students scored much higher than their African American peers, even though they went to the same school and shared the same classes.

    In response to the "gene" topic:

    I agree that environment (in terms of culture, economic status, social status, parental upbringing, etc.) probably has a large impact on academic performance.

    A prominent geneticist at my school said it best, "When it comes to genetic differences in intelligence and most other characteristics, there is a far greater difference WITHIN races than BETWEEN them." A very safe, PC, and correct answer. He's a smart guy. :)

    Are there innate differences? Probably. Can they be overcome? Most likely.
     
  36. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    [/QUOTE]In response to: "If you have to work to support yourself, dont have the same pre collegiate preparation, and have other economic difficulties, the playing field is far from level."

    A large proportion of college undergraduates work to support themselves and many of these also have economic difficulties. It's impossible to have the same precollegiate preparation (there will ALWAYS be people who have more or less access to educational programs). In short, affirmative action cannot function as a micromanaging program. You need broad and clear criteria, similar to welfare.

    In response to: "Even the smartest kid won't flourish academically if you put in a substandard school."

    I vehemently disagree with this. There is a well known and widely accepted analysis of a particular so-called "substandard" or "underprivileged" school. In this public school, there is a large African American student population and an equally large Vietnamese student population. Remarkably, there is a striking difference in their academic performances as measured by standardized tests. The Vietnamese students scored much higher than their African American peers, even though they went to the same school and shared the same classes.

    In response to the "gene" topic:

    I agree that environment (in terms of culture, economic status, social status, parental upbringing, etc.) probably has a large impact on academic performance.

    A prominent geneticist at my school said it best, "When it comes to genetic differences in intelligence and most other characteristics, there is a far greater difference WITHIN races than BETWEEN them." A very safe, PC, and correct answer. He's a smart guy. :)

    Are there innate differences? Probably. Can they be overcome? Most likely.[/QB][/QUOTE]

    In regards to the work issue, yes I acknowledge that a lot of college students do work. But, I think its worth going beyond the surface. Some kids might work more than others, some might be working to pay rent versus just working to build up a resume, you get my drift.

    I'd like to get a reference to this study you speak of. Of course the study might be well done, but there might be some circumstances that could raise issues of external validity, after all its just ONE study. Even if both sets of students attend the same crappy high school, are you then still ruling out the other possible variations in what could be affecting their education? Is standardized testing the only measure of intelligence in said study? I'm not even throwing out the "anti-intellectual culture" among young black youth as it is a valid concern, the reasons for that are an entirely different debate that I'm gonna leave out for now. I understand the reasons you'd disagree, but I still hold the notion that with other factors held constant the school sets a ceiling on the student.

    Fundamentally I don't disagree with anything you've said insofar geneman. But please dont equate this with welfare (or, at least the current state of it), I think thats the worst American policy right next to the war on drugs and the drinking age (if you want to argue that one, pm or email/IM me, keep it off this thread). Of course we'll never level the playing field exactly, but at least we're looking for solutions.

    And since you're looking for URMs in this thread Spidey, here I am. I'm keeping it as objective as possible for the sake of good intellectual discourse.
     
  37. missmod

    missmod Senior Member
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    Many of the replies I have read justify the URM-policy by saying that many URM's come from underpriveleged backgrounds. Then, in parenthesis, many admit that(there are whites and asians who also come from underpriveleged backgrounds).

    I'm not completely against the URM policy. However, I do wish that admissions committees would consider the students referred to in those parenthesis for affirmative action. Much too often, the URM policy is determined only on color.
     
  38. migs54

    migs54 Junior Member
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    Personally, I believe that Affirmative action should be abolished. I'm not a URM so maybe that plays a role in my thinking. I really feel that they should not be allowed to ask for your race on an application they should just take the most qualified students regardless of race. I also feel AA serves as a diservice to URM's, my best friend is applying now, he happens to be black now when he is treating his patients and associating with fellow studnents/colleuges are they going to think is he qualified or is he just here because he is black. He is going to have to work twice as hard and be twice as good. He also refused to put on his AMCAS that he was black, he told me he wants to get in on merit not on his skin color. The argument that patients will be more comfortable to deal with a physician of their own race is a crock in my opinoin. I dont care if my doctor is black, indian, asian, white or green as long as he is a good doctor. If a person is so bigoted not be able to freely converse with a doctor based on their skin color then screw that patient.
     
  39. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    DW -

    John McWhorter, an African American intellectual and author of "Losing the Race", came to speak at Rutgers University last year. There, he mentioned the study I was referring to (it is referenced in his book I believe). Here is a PDF link to a PBS interview of McWhorter: <a href="http://www.pbs.org/merrow/tmr_radio/transcr/pgm11.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.pbs.org/merrow/tmr_radio/transcr/pgm11.pdf</a>

    Here's the quote about the African American/Vietnamese discrepency:

    There's the fact that it's been shown,
    especially lately, that South East Asian students ...
    and we're not talking about Chinese, Japanese and
    Korean ... we're talking about disadvantaged South
    East Asian Cambodian, Vietnamese students do
    excellently in the same bombed out inner city
    schools which we're often told are the main reason
    why black students aren't doing well in those
    schools. This isn't to say that we don't need to
    address what I think of as the Jonathon Cosal(?)
    problem of under funding of certain schools,
    however, that factor is, at best, a marginal factor in
    why we're seeing such large disparities in these
    scores.
     
  40. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    "DW, DW, come in it's Launchpad... sorry I couldn't resist."-geneman

    You know, I first read this message at work hours ago and i didn't get what you were saying.

    I looked at this thread a little when i got back from work, still didn't click.

    Now, after working on my thesis for a hour and coming back to look at this thread again, i finally got it <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />

    I remember being on the safety patrol for my junior high school, and around the time that cartoon came out all the second graders would scream the "Darkwing Duck" theme as loud as they could. Ahh, where have those days gone <img border="0" alt="[Pity]" title="" src="graemlins/pity.gif" /> ......

    migs54, in regards to comment "if a patient is bigoted enough to only see a doctor of their own race, screw that patient" roughly paraphrased, consider the following:

    Its not a matter of bigotry with some people just to deal with their own kind. I dont think that applies to everyone, but it doesn't make a latino a racist if he prefers seeing a latino doc. As your friend is realizing, race although vague is a VERY REAL construct in the US that isn't going to just go away. There is a need for docs in poorer neighborhoods, and according to AAMC's report on the staus of URMs (they took the link off the site), minority students are more likely to practice in these communities. Once again, i've agreed that students shoulnd't be given easier standards for acceptance, and you can read all the above posts to hear our suggestions to rectify.

    Regarding the "...then screw the patient" part, I found this honestly very upsetting to her from an aspiring doctor, regardless of your views on AA. I never watched ER that much, but i think one the best little patches of that show happened when a black female doctor (I dont know names) has to treat a patient who in unconscious at the time, and when she pulls his linen back she finds a KKK tattoo on his chest. When she goes and consults some other dude about the patient, she tries to pass him off on another doctor cause she feels uncomfortable dealing with him. The other guys response was basically....

    "And why you went to medical school is?...."

    ......when there's trouble you call DW
     
  41. arana

    arana Member
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    :mad: If genetic racial differences exist in some areas, is it impossible that they also exist in the area of intelligence?

    I have read about some studies that show that the mean score on IQ tests for African-Americans was one standard deviation below the mean for whites, and the mean for Mexican-Americans was one half sd below the mean for white. The mean for Asian-Americans is 2-3 points higher than that of whites.

    I am a URM, I read the views of some SDNers and I think you must be insane, or have no sense of empathy at all. With such comments as URM are not hard working and not as intelligent makes me sick. If you were a URM would you want to go to a doctor that assumed you were less intelligent simply because you are from a different race, come on.I have taken an IQ test, and trust me I don?t have a genetic disease.

    People wonder how in the world a disadvantaged student could possible attended college. I attend college because of academic scholarships, grants, and yes I do work I have since I was 15 years old. I don?t have the luxuries that other have like my own computer or a car but I work so I can live an go to school.

    And the statements about being lazy:

    the African American student isn't going to be as worried about it... because, within his ethnic group, the competetition isn't as tight, simply because there aren't as many African Americans applying.

    I retook the MCAT with a 31 because I wanted a better chance at a top 20 school. However, if I were a URM, I wouldn't have retaken, because with a 31 I'd have a decent chance at any top 20 school.

    Look, most people don?t think this way. I received a 33 on my MCAT I 3.7 GPA at a top university (3.9 Junior and Senior year) and I too am retaking the MCAT, why because I know I can do better. Furthermore, the many friends I have that are URM are exactly the same as me. We all want a 37 on our MCAT, we all work are asses off, but that doesn?t matter because people will use any excuse to put others down.

    Why do we need A.A.
    1. Only a few decades ago, you couldn?t even attend medical school if you were African American. How do you expect URM to have role models when are parents have been stifled by racism.
    2. How do you expect to treat the underserved if you have no empathy for them
    Individuals who come from underserved communities usually go back to their communities. I know I will, because I know what its like to be underserved.
    :mad:
     
  42. douglas

    douglas New Member

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    I am a URM, I read the views of some SDNers and I think you must be insane, or have no sense of empathy at all. With such comments as URM are not hard working and not as intelligent makes me sick.

    you're the loca...and a fiesty one.
     
  43. arana

    arana Member
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    [Qt] :mad: mind you its the confluence of genetics and ENVIRONMENT that produce behavior. You've heard accounts on many SDN threads of highly academic minority students, but you put them in highly unfavorable environmental conditions, and they wouldn't have peformed as well.

    One more point. I did come from an ?unfavorable environment, so did many of my URM friends. ?Unfavorable I mean gangs, drugs, I was in foster care for a while, a bad education, friends dropping out of HS, few mentors, having to work in high school ect?. And I have performed well!
     
  44. Ryo-Ohki

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    That's terrific. Some URMs do get into medical school based on their merit.

    Why do you find so hard to believe that some do not?
     
  45. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by arana:
    <strong>[Qt] :mad: mind you its the confluence of genetics and ENVIRONMENT that produce behavior. You've heard accounts on many SDN threads of highly academic minority students, but you put them in highly unfavorable environmental conditions, and they wouldn't have peformed as well.

    One more point. I did come from an "unfavorable environment, so did many of my URM friends. "Unfavorable I mean gangs, drugs, I was in foster care for a while, a bad education, friends dropping out of HS, few mentors, having to work in high school ect&#8230;. And I have performed well!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">ok, so my writing gets sloppy on occasion, especially when i'm at work. Change that "wouldn't have performed" to "might not have performed", and you get the original intent of my argument. I don't know if you've agreed or disagreed with my in the last few posts, just trying to clarify.

    Congrats on your achievements thru duress, of course.
     
  46. Bikini Princess

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    I think the number and quality of URM applicants is determined at the elementary/high school level.

    Attempting to correct these imbalances at the level of medical school admissions is like putting on makeup - it doesn't treat the underlying symptoms. :-(

    In fact, like make-up, it can sometimes cause more problems. Professionals within the medical community look with some skepticism at graduates of Howard and Meharry, and occasionally URM matriculants in general. Lower standards may result in lower expectations. Lower expectations may result in lower performance. :-(

    Remedy the situation by equal distribution of funding for public education. If black/urban/hispanic/ghetto schools had the same funding as wealthy school districts, then there would be no need to worry about race. :)
     
  47. Ryo-Ohki

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    Increased funding will only work if we can change the culture that ostracizes smart black kids for "being white".

    Did I ever say that I love NPR?! Best news source out there. Send in your donations!
     
  48. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    re: arana

    Congrats on your ambition and achievements so far. That being said, we've gone beyond "why we do (not) need A.A.". The question is how to best reform the program and, in order to do so, people who support A.A. *must* acknowledge that there is an inherent unfairness to the program, just as people who are against A.A. acknowledge that there are important benefits to it.

    Geez, I feel like I'm mediating the Middle East conflict...

    re: bikini princess

    Thank you! That makeup analogy is on the money.
     
  49. encee

    encee Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Bikini Princess:
    <strong>I think the number and quality of URM applicants is determined at the elementary/high school level.

    Attempting to correct these imbalances at the level of medical school admissions is like putting on makeup - it doesn't treat the underlying symptoms. :-(

    In fact, like make-up, it can sometimes cause more problems. Professionals within the medical community look with some skepticism at graduates of Howard and Meharry, and occasionally URM matriculants in general. Lower standards may result in lower expectations. Lower expectations may result in lower performance. :-(

    Remedy the situation by equal distribution of funding for public education. If black/urban/hispanic/ghetto schools had the same funding as wealthy school districts, then there would be no need to worry about race. :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Thank-you Bikini Princess! I completely agree with what you are saying. With so many social and political issues, especially with those that deal with disparities like URMs in higher education, I think that the focus is at least 10 steps too far down the line. Look at the root of problems. Perhaps affirmative action is not the answer, but I think we are in total denial by thinking that getting rid of AA is moving closer towards a more representative, better, just society. Focus on socio-economic differences, focus on grade school and public education, and only once these factors are given some major consideration can we deal with the aftermath of what these sitautions create for society.

    When I was an undergrad at UCSD a few years back, UCSD did not accept one single Black person to their incoming med school class one year. HELLO!?!!? Something is wrong, and we are clearly not approaching this in the right way. Have we really progressed?

    It really saddens me....We are not the color-blind society we like to think we are. Recognizing race is not a bad thing, but when so many people have difficulties in addressing issues of race so they settle for "political correctness", we end up fooling ourselves and making social cohesion a very far off possibility.

    I will get off my soap box now, as I could go on forever! :)
     
  50. encee

    encee Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Bikini Princess:
    <strong>I think the number and quality of URM applicants is determined at the elementary/high school level.

    Attempting to correct these imbalances at the level of medical school admissions is like putting on makeup - it doesn't treat the underlying symptoms. :-(

    In fact, like make-up, it can sometimes cause more problems. Professionals within the medical community look with some skepticism at graduates of Howard and Meharry, and occasionally URM matriculants in general. Lower standards may result in lower expectations. Lower expectations may result in lower performance. :-(

    Remedy the situation by equal distribution of funding for public education. If black/urban/hispanic/ghetto schools had the same funding as wealthy school districts, then there would be no need to worry about race. :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Thank-you Bikini Princess! I completely agree with what you are saying. With so many social and political issues, especially with those that deal with disparities like URMs in higher education, I think that the focus is at least 10 steps too far down the line. Look at the root of problems. Perhaps affirmative action is not the answer, but I think we are in total denial by thinking that getting rid of AA is moving closer towards a more representative, better, just society. Focus on socio-economic differences, focus on grade school and public education, and only once these factors are given some major consideration can we deal with the aftermath of what these sitautions create for society.

    When I was an undergrad at UCSD a few years back, UCSD did not accept one single Black person to their incoming med school class one year. HELLO!?!!? Something is wrong, and we are clearly not approaching this in the right way. Have we really progressed?

    It really saddens me....We are not the color-blind society we like to think we are. Recognizing race is not a bad thing, but when so many people have difficulties in addressing issues of race so they settle for "political correctness", we end up fooling ourselves and making social cohesion a very far off possibility.

    I will get off my soap box now, as I could go on forever! :)
     
  51. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by arana:
    <strong>[Qt] :mad: mind you its the confluence of genetics and ENVIRONMENT that produce behavior. You've heard accounts on many SDN threads of highly academic minority students, but you put them in highly unfavorable environmental conditions, and they wouldn't have peformed as well.

    One more point. I did come from an "unfavorable environment, so did many of my URM friends. "Unfavorable I mean gangs, drugs, I was in foster care for a while, a bad education, friends dropping out of HS, few mentors, having to work in high school ect&#8230;. And I have performed well!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">WAIT! Ok, let me just say this... THERE ARE ALWAYS EXCEPTIONS! If I say "mammals generally give birth to live young." Now someone could say "but Platypus lays eggs!" Yes, the platypus does lay eggs and the platypus is a mammal... but that doesn't mean that my original statement wasn't true. Generally what I said is true. The average mammal doesn't lay eggs.

    We're trying to see trends here. Because we are talking about groups of people and not individuals, we can't give much consideration to isolated examples. We need to look at trends and averages.

    For example, take owen_osh theory. Someone might be tempted to try to refute owen_osh theory by giving off the names of the many URMs who have proven to be extremely intelligent, far more intelligent than the average white or Asian. Now does that really refute owen_osh's theory? No it doesn't. Owen_osh is talking about averages and trends, his theory says nothing about any given individual.

    I just think we should keep this rule of logic in mind when discussing the validity of different points. :)
     

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