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Am I a URM 2?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by LooKing4Ward, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. LooKing4Ward

    LooKing4Ward Member
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    Posted here for more action, since premeds are a lovely bunch.

    Am I a URM?
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-61718.html

    What is the current definition of URM according to AAMC?
    The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) definition of underrepresented in medicine is:

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

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

    Adopted by the AAMC's Executive Council on June 26, 2003, the definition helps medical schools accomplish three important objectives:

    1. A shift in focus from a fixed aggregation of four racial and ethnic groups to a continually evolving underlying reality. The definition accommodates including and removing underrepresented groups on the basis of changing demographics of society and the profession,

    2. A shift in focus from a national perspective to a regional or local perspective on underrepresentation, and

    3. Stimulate data collection and reporting on the broad range of racial and ethnic self-descriptions.

    Before June 26, 2003, the AAMC used the term "underrepresented minority (URM)," which consisted of Blacks, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans (that is, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), and mainland Puerto Ricans. The AAMC remains committed to ensuring access to medical education and medicine-related careers for individuals from these four historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.


    1. How many programs actually put into practice this current definition?
    2. Does the current definition actually help accomplish those three important objectives listed? (Personally, I don't know that it does).
    3. Is the definition of "URM" before June 26, 2003 still widely used and practiced, knowingly or not?


    I'm Laotian a sub-group that is underrepresented in medicine but part of the Asian classification which is not URM.

    I found this one link that comments on URM regarding SE Asians (and Pacific Islanders). FYI: The comment is in 2002, before AAMC URM's 2003 clarification.
    http://www.apiahf.org/policy/research/20020515_comments_to_AAMC.htm

    According to the current definition (and the objectives they hope to accomplish with it) I think I would be URM depending on location but I'm still not sure. I think I would have to check Other and then write in Laotian.

    Edit: Made changes to post because I thought the clarification was an amendment to the definition, but it seems it is the definition.
     
  2. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    I personally believe most southeast asians should be considered URM. I really think that they are being unfairly penalized because they are categorized as "asian" in the admissions process. Like I have said before. I think using race alone as a definition hurts the people that really need the help. SES and Race should both be considered. There certainly is a need for proportional representation of southeast asians in medicine.
     
  3. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    I would write in Laotian, as you suggest. You have a compelling case but I don't think you are - but what do I know. I think if you could argue that Laotians and their communities are chronically under served you would certainly strengthen your case. I'd like to hear what one of the former lawyers who regularly visit SDN have to say, as their understanding of the law is much more complete than mine.
    You might want to write to a dean of admissions at a medical school and ask for clarification straight from the source. Your inclusion would have "to help a school achieve the educational benefits of a diverse student body, including enhancing the cultural competency of all the physicians it educates and improving access to care for underserved populations," per the AAMC goals of diversification.
     
  4. Bernito

    Bernito Senior Member
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    This is the key statement. I am Hispanic, but South American Hispanic, and therefore not a URM. The population of SA-H's in the US is probably 1-3% (up to 5% in some areas) and there are typically 1 or more SA-H's in a given MS class which is representative of the general population. Likewise, it is unlikely that the Loatian population is higher then 1-2%. Of course the new definition of URM is dynamic so it could be depending on the school.


    It is naive to think people are being punished by the recruitment of URMs. We are talking maybe 20 slots taken up by these students per class. Lets say we open up 10 of the slots (b/c the URMs are competitive on their own). Will 10 more slots, or even all 20, suddenly make an applicant competitive where he/she wasn't before?


    SES should be considered, but this is a difficult task. Race, on the other hand, is something you cannot fake. I knew of someone that "forgot" to list a parent on tax returns (his parents were split, but both still were paying for school) in order to be categorized in the lowest bracket and become eligible for financial aid. This is not even that bad of an example, I am sure there are worse. Can we trust our fellow pre-meds? Some, but not all. Why are MCAT test sites run like detention centers? Because some pre-meds have and will continue to try to cheat the system.

    Sure recruiting URMs is an imperfect measure to fix the problem, but there is no better alternative that can be implemented fairly.
     
  5. 06applicant

    06applicant Senior Member
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    Great point :thumbup: :thumbup:
    Statistically, recruitment of URMs barely changes a non-URMs chances. A study done by Harvard and Princeton in 1999 found that AA only decreased a white's chances of acceptance into one of the top 20 undergrads by 1.5%.

    I bet med school numbers are similar
     
  6. riceman04

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    I do agree with you on the problems that could arise with using socio-economic status. It is very easy to claim a certain socio-economic status that is not truly representative of one's income and property values. In fact, there was this one guy who was successfully getting students applying to undergrads to give false information on their tax form so that they could be eligible for extra need-based benefits that are made available to those belonging to a lower socio-economic class.
     
  7. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Honestly, I doubt that they would consider you to be a URM. I suppose you could give it a shot though.
     
  8. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    I dont think bernito understood my comments.

    In any case, some S.E. asian groups have small populations so five to ten slots could make a huge difference, and they ARE underrepresented. How could you say that they arent being hurt if they arent considered URM?

    The problem here is that lumping "asians" into one group neglects the certain asian ethnic groups that are underrepresented in medicine.

    As for the typical east asian being hurt by AA, no, i dont think the average east asian is really affected by AA at all.
     
  9. Bernito

    Bernito Senior Member
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    I am pretty sure I understand. The fact that SE asians have a small US population is why they are not considered URM. Lets take Texas as an example, since I am from Texas and I know a little about it:

    The census bureau reports that the Texas population is split as follows:

    32% Hispanic/Latino (probably 30% is Mexican American)
    11% African American
    2.7% Asian (assuming most are Indian Asian or Chinese, SE asian is probably 0.5%)

    All things being equal, by chance we would expect the average MS class of ~200 to have 60 Mexican Americans, 20 African Americans and 5 Asians (1 or 2 SE Asian). I don't have my MSAR handy but I am sure that there were much less than 60 MAs and 20 AAs. Hence the underrepresented part of URM. I also remember seeing usually 1 or more from Vietnam, ~1 from Taiwan and I think they just say other Asian so we don't know for other SE asian countries.

    You can also look at the AAMC numbers. 2700 Hispanics and 2800 AAs applied in 2005, while 7200 Asians (probably 1400 SE asians?) applied. Out of the total 37K, this breaks down to 7%, 7%, 19% (3.7% SE asian). So you see, Asians, and probably SE Asians, are actually overrepresented in MS's.

    The reason we have URM recruitment, the new way it is defined, is because people looked at numbers like these and realized that there was a large discrepency for certain populations. They did not purposely overlook SE asians. Instead they deemed them properly represented.

    You are right that grouping SE Asians with all Asians doesn't make sense. But really, many of the groupings are silly. I am "other Hispanic." I am not so thrilled with that designation either.



    http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48000.html

    http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2005/2005sumyrs.htm
     
  10. LooKing4Ward

    LooKing4Ward Member
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    Yes, that is the key statement, it's the definition in fact. I just wonder though if it will actually (be practiced by programs and) help accomplish the three important objectives listed. I feel like those objectives are talking to me and many other sub-groups that are in reality underrepresented in medicine but are categorized as non-URM.


     
  11. LooKing4Ward

    LooKing4Ward Member
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    I'm guessing if I check Other and write in Laotian, with the many applications they have to go through, their work day would be much easier if they just re-classified me as Asian. Not only that, by re-classifying me as Asian it may be that they legally keep themselves out of trouble. Though, according to the current URM definition and its objectives sometimes I think I should fall under URM.

    With that said, something came to mind, I could just do the work for them.

    Research:
    1. The population and population growth of Laotians in the program's area.
    2. The number of med school matriculants and doctors who are Laotian in that area.
    3. Mail those to them along with the current definition of URM and its objectives and my application.

    If the research proves favorably and I was trying to get in as URM but wasn't classified as such then maybe there are some battles to be won.

     

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