Affirmative Action

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.
Let me counter with this. If a door is opened for you, does it make you feel less of a person if you walk through said door?

A little. It would be like being accepted to medical school only because my dad was an adcom.

I'd get over it, but it would still be with me...

(not say AA is the same - just an example)

Members don't see this ad.
 
Members don't see this ad :)
A little. It would be like being accepted to medical school only because my dad was an adcom.

I'd get over it, but it would still be with me...

(not say AA is the same - just an example)
Hmm but would a group of people that only like 50-60 years ago that achieved "true" freedom need a leg up?
 

Attachments

  • AlAM6hsCEAApz3i.jpg large.jpeg
    125.4 KB · Views: 40
Hmm but would a group of people that only like 50-60 years ago that achieved "true" freedom need a leg up?

but are the people who need the leg up getting it?

One personal example. Black kid from my highschool who graduated with me. Did well academically. Accepted on large scholarship to a top 20 school. Father was a local general surgeon... Comes from a very wealthy part of town. He's reaping the rewards -- and would casually joke around about it with us.

In that comic for instance, in real life there are plenty of black people sitting on the ledge with the white guy looking down. More often than not, their kids are the ones receiving the AA megabenefits (scholarships to big name schools, medical school etc.).

there obviously not all that way, but i think income and area of residence should play a larger role in the way AA works. I'm not against AA, i just think it is not correctly done.
 
but are the people who need the leg up getting it?

One personal example. Black kid from my highschool who graduated with me. Did well academically. Accepted on large scholarship to a top 20 school. Father was a local general surgeon... Comes from a very wealthy part of town. He's reaping the rewards.

In that comic for instance, in real life there are plenty of black people sitting on the ledge with the white guy looking down. More often than not, their kids are the ones receiving the AA megabenefits (scholarships to big name schools, medical school etc.).

there obviously not all that way, but i think income and area of residence should play a larger role in the way AA works.

Well though that maybe true we can generally agree that the majority of minorities are extremely blue-collar or less. And like Nick Naylor said, the people that benefit from AA are an extremely small pool compared to the national number of students in med school. For every black kid that got in with a 2.9 there are dozens that got rejected with the same stats. The statistical data given by the AAMC is very flawed considering that there are an extremely small pool of black and minorities that apply to med school in the first place. AA does has its faults though.
 
Well though that maybe true we can generally agree that the majority of minorities are extremely blue-collar or less. And like Nick Naylor said, the people that benefit from AA are an extremely small pool compared to the national number of students in med school. For every black kid that got in with a 2.9 there are dozens that got rejected with the same stats. The statistical data given by the AAMC is very flawed considering that there are an extremely small pool of black and minorities that apply to med school in the first place. AA does has its faults though.

Dozens might be a bit of an exaggeration:

There are 250 African American applicants who were admitted during 2009-2011 with gpa of 2.80-2.99 out of 1,198 who applied.

A smaller proportion of African-American applicants are admitted to medical school (39.6%) than the proportion of white applicants admitted (47.6%) or Asian applicants (46.6%).
 
Dozens might be a bit of an exaggeration:

There are 250 African American applicants who were admitted during 2009-2011 with gpa of 2.80-2.99 out of 1,198 who applied.

A smaller proportion of African-American applicants are admitted to medical school (39.6%) than the proportion of white applicants admitted (47.6%) or Asian applicants (46.6%).

You also have to account for the HBCU med schools that people here seem to avoid like the plague anyway.
 
Last edited:
I really don't think race is as important today as it once was. The fact is, if you're rich and black, you're going to do just fine. And if you're poor and white, you're going to face problems, just like your poorb black counterparts. So, I think people all of races from low-income backgrounds (re: possibly crummy schools, maybe unsupportive parents, etc.) should perhaps be granted some sort of slight advantage.

Let me also note that I've seen the American dream at work. My hometown has a huge (50%) Hispanic population, and most of my close friends from high school are either Mexican or Guatemelan. Their parents work full-time *hit jobs at either Wal-Mart or the local cow slaughterhouse. They speak absolutely no English. Yet given these unfavorable circumstances, their children are all attending four-year public schools and are well on their way into the middle class. How is that possible? Isn't there rampant modern racism and institutional discrimination? No, there isn't. Here's what the parents do. They live modestly. They don't do drugs. They are strong in their Catholic faith. They remain married and thereby pool two incomes. They pester their kids about the importance of education. They're not too proud to want better for their kids. And they work their tails off, because no welfare is available for illegal immigrants. I am not insinuating that other racial minorities are lazy scoundrels, but the American dream still exists. You just have to work at it.
 
Dozens might be a bit of an exaggeration:

There are 250 African American applicants who were admitted during 2009-2011 with gpa of 2.80-2.99 out of 1,198 who applied.

A smaller proportion of African-American applicants are admitted to medical school (39.6%) than the proportion of white applicants admitted (47.6%) or Asian applicants (46.6%).

This stat is pretty meaningless in regards to AA. The average gpa/mcat of applicants from each ethnic groups vary so much you might as well be comparing apples and oranges.
 
This stat is pretty meaningless in regards to AA. The average gpa/mcat of applicants from each ethnic groups vary so much you might as well be comparing apples and oranges.

If the goal is to successfully run 100 meters, does it matter if we recruit women from Division I track and field programs, men from Division II football programs, or olympic marathon runners? All are capable of succeeding at the task although some may perform better than others.

Within your own racial group you just need to be in the top 40% holistically (not solely on grades & scores).
 
If the goal is to successfully run 100 meters, does it matter if we recruit women from Division I track and field programs, men from Division II football programs, or olympic marathon runners? All are capable of succeeding at the task although some may perform better than others.

Within your own racial group you just need to be in the top 40% holistically (not solely on grades & scores).

Thats the whole point...the percent of unqualified applicants in certain racial groups vary widely. When I say unqualified, I mean based solely on the minimum academic baseline to have a decent shot at making it through med school.

Black, white, or green a person with 2.5 GPA and 20 MCAT isn't going to have a good shot at making it through many classes in med school.

You cant have a meaningful comparison between X and Y race acceptance rate if you had drastically different applicant pools. If you are going to make the comparison you need to only include applicants who meet the very baseline academic abilities. Then run the numbers and still see if whites lead in % acceptance rate.

In response to your analogy I am not saying those accepted cant "do the task." I am saying citing those stats without showing the numbers behind them will lead people to a conclusion they wouldn't have reached otherwise.
 
Thats the whole point...the percent of unqualified applicants in certain racial groups vary widely. When I say unqualified, I mean based solely on the minimum academic baseline to have a decent shot at making it through med school.
Black, white, or green a person with 2.5 GPA and 20 MCAT isn't going to have a good shot at making it through many classes in med school.

You cant have a meaningful comparison between X and Y race acceptance rate if you had drastically different applicant pools. If you are going to make the comparison you need to only include applicants who meet the very baseline academic abilities. Then run the numbers and still see if whites lead in % acceptance rate.

In response to your analogy I am not saying those accepted cant "do the task." I am saying citing those stats without showing the numbers behind them will lead people to a conclusion they wouldn't have reached otherwise.

3 of 75 black applicants with MCATs of 18-20 and gpa 2.40-2.59 were admitted over 3 cycles. In the same time frame, 1 of 57 white applicants with similar stats were admitted. The numbers are so low that it isn't possible to make a statistical analysis of whether that is a statistically significant difference.

The stats necessary to "do the task" are not as high as one would expect. On the other hand, chasing "US News" rankings as some schools do, puts the emphasis on admitted applicants with high stats. Counterbalancing this is the LCME (accrediting body) requirement that there be a diverse faculty and student body and the fact that grades and scores for a host of reasons run lower in black and Hispanic undergraduates than in white and Asian students.
 
If we become more diverse in medicine, so be it. If not, so be it. I'm worried about the quality of doctors, not what they look like or where they came from.

Can anyone tell me how the quality of medicine has suffered because of AA? I want to know.

Candidates with better academic histories will, on average, do better in medical school.

I sense an assumption that you think that the smarter candidate is automatically more qualified and will be a better doctor, but I don't think that is true. Intelligence matters to a certain minimum point, but there is also another point beyond which adding more smarts really doesn't improve the candidate.

If the goal is to successfully run 100 meters, does it matter if we recruit women from Division I track and field programs, men from Division II football programs, or olympic marathon runners? All are capable of succeeding at the task although some may perform better than others.

I think the bolded purple is something that is important to think about. If the minimum qualification for being an excellent doctor and providing quality healthcare is "successfully running 100 meters" and that is met, then what? Running that 100 meters faster and faster (having higher and higher GPAs/MCAT) is still going to produce the same result because at some point there are diminishing returns. Medical schools understand this. That's why they look beyond numbers. It's not in the school's interest to admit students that will fail.



Also you mentioned that URM graduates were more likely to serve in underserved areas compared to their non-URM counterparts. Perhaps the reason was because they were not able to specialize. They were not able to specialize because they had lower scores. They had lower board scores because they were only accepted because of AA. Thus, the only logical step would be to work in an underserved area.

As mentioned before, if I am unable to specialize I too will consider working in an underserved area.

You are jumping to conclusions and assuming that most URMs got accepted to medical school solely because of affirmative action. I interviewed at Howard medical school(A school with a high percentage of URMS and a 26 median MCAT) in January and only 10% of the class went into primary care. I am also in a mentoring program at MUSC and the black males at the university are matching into many different specialties ranging from neurology to plastic surgery.

Zwitterion is also forgetting that underserved populations need more than just primary care. They require care of neurosurgeons, dermatologists, optho, plastics, endocrine. They are whole people too.
 
I think the bolded purple is something that is important to think about. If the minimum qualification for being an excellent doctor and providing quality healthcare is "successfully running 100 meters" and that is met, then what? Running that 100 meters faster and faster (having higher and higher GPAs/MCAT) is still going to produce the same result because at some point there are diminishing returns. Medical schools understand this. That's why they look beyond numbers. It's not in the school's interest to admit students that will fail.

Do you actually believe that though? If you or a loved one needed a doctor for a life-threatening medical condition, would you rather have the doctor who met only the minimum standards or the one who went above and beyond, beating minimum requirements by a substantial margin? I think the answer is a pretty easy one for me.
 
Do you actually believe that though? If you or a loved one needed a doctor for a life-threatening medical condition, would you rather have the doctor who met only the minimum standards or the one who went above and beyond, beating minimum requirements by a substantial margin? I think the answer is a pretty easy one for me.

I'd rather have the doctor who had extensive experience dealing with the life-threatening medical condition. Neither of the qualities you describe tell me anything about how that doctor will help me.
 
Do you actually believe that though? If you or a loved one needed a doctor for a life-threatening medical condition, would you rather have the doctor who met only the minimum standards or the one who went above and beyond, beating minimum requirements by a substantial margin? I think the answer is a pretty easy one for me.

I am on the fence about AA's benefits...but there is research showing PCPs provide better care to their own race. I am guessing this is because they are more in tune with the culture needs of that population. Basic logic would conclude having a similar ratio of physicians racial diversity to population go improve care for a certain population.

I am unsure about the validity of the research, but that is the argument for AA improving care.
 
You all are forgetting the boards and such. Getting into a med school is one thing, passing the boards is another. To my knowledge Step 1, Step 2, and etc doesn't account for race, if you don't pass you don't pass.
 
I agree with both sides of the fence. If you aren't qualified you shouldn't be allowed into medical school, but there is nothing wrong with diversity.
 
Do you actually believe that though? If you or a loved one needed a doctor for a life-threatening medical condition, would you rather have the doctor who met only the minimum standards or the one who went above and beyond, beating minimum requirements by a substantial margin? I think the answer is a pretty easy one for me.

If you've met the minimum standard to be an excellent physician and provide quality healthcare then you know what to do for a life threatening medical condition. If meeting this minimum standard (which in itself is high) produces the exact same clinical results as surpassing the standard, then...?

Eventually there is some type of diminishing return where selecting students with high and higher numbers does NOT equate to better physicians or better patient care. This is why the process if not just a numbers game.
 
Top