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Disadvantaged?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Cerberus, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    Is there much benefit to applying disadvantaged? If you applied disadvantaged did you feel that schools looked negatively upon it (i.e. classism). I definitely qualify as "disadvantaged" but I dont know whether it is worth applying as disadvantaged...

    thanks in advance
     
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  3. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    I know the EOF students at my university are counted as URMs when they apply to med school. So if that's the same case for you, you may have a significant advantage.
     
  4. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    the greatest predictor of future academic, vocational, and economic success is not gender or race, it's socio-economics. If you come from a past that impoverished and you've accomplished much, then that should be noted.

    be proud of all that you have done with your life. also, you'll get a chance to write an additional essay on your amcas application. what's more, some schools have a seperate committee for disadvantaged applicants.

    i come from a priveleged past. However, i think many people have accomplished so much more than I have considering the obstacles, not just educationally, but emotionally, psychologically that they've had to overcome just to get an education. You cannot be compared. Be proud, but don't let it be a crutch either. Say, this is where I came from and this is who I am now. you are measured by the choices you've made not by a past that tried to limit you. I wish you the best of luck.
     
  5. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    put it down cerb. why hide your past?
    it wont hurt you in anyway. schools with either take note of this or they just wont care...but definitely they wont look down on you for it.
     
  6. medic170

    medic170 American Infidel
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    what exactly is the criteria for "disadvantaged"? I mean, I am a married non-traditional student. Throughout my undergraduate career, my income has been under $15,000 since my wife is a full time student as well. My folks do not support us in any financial way. When I was growing up, my family had some money(lower-middle middle class), until my Mom went to jail for embezzeling the money we had. Does this mean that I am "disadvantaged". I certainly feel like it at times, but what does "disadvantaged" mean.
     
  7. japhy

    japhy Ski Bum
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    as far as i can tell, you are the one who decides if you are disadvantaged or not. however, if you mark that on amcas you better be prepared to write about it in your personal statement or talk about it during interviews. if you marked 'disadvantaged' and it is because you stubbed your toe when you were 10, you might be in trouble.

    the other huge benefit is applying for the fee waiver from amcas. the mcat is comped, 10 free schools from amcas and almost no secondary fees.
     
  8. KatieOConnor

    KatieOConnor Senior Member
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    I know that college admissions officers really seek out "the diamond in the rough." The person who grew up poor and overcame his/her circumstances. I know med schools sometimes seek out candidates who are likely to serve in underserved communities.

    I think some schools will like your disadvantaged status more than others, but that overall, I think it'll be in your best interest to be forthcoming about it.

    I came from a wealthy family, and I imagine you overcame a lot more than me to get through college, etc. Adcoms hopefully will appreciate this!
     
  9. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    For whoever was curious about the criteria for disadvantaged I will tell you my circumstances (well without getting too personal).

    I grew up in a single parent household with an income of <20k (no child support).

    my father is the worlds biggest loser (i.e. alcoholic, abusive, etc)

    I went to a HORRIBLE public school in the middle of BFE

    I applied for and recieved FAP this year
     
  10. medic170

    medic170 American Infidel
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    I applied for FAP when I took the MCAT. I could not get it because they required copies of my parents tax returns and income information. Nevermind I am 27 years old, independant, and married with my own family, they still wanted my parents info. FAFSA and AACOMAS consider me independant of my parents, but not AAMC. Well, my parents do not do their taxes until the last minute, and they make like $50,000 per year anyway, so needless to say, I paid for my MCAT and I'll be paying for applications(hello credit card debt, did you miss me?). So, I guess I am not disadvantaged since they do not draw a distinction between parents that help their kids through college and parents who don't give their kids a dime. Not fair if you ask me. BTW, congrats on overcoming your obstacles CERB, you should be proud. Good luck!
     
  11. Sorry, a couple of (stupid) questions...

    What's BFE?

    What's FAP?

    Sounds like you overcame a lot to make it thus far. Props to you. :thumbup:
     
  12. medic170

    medic170 American Infidel
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    FAP is the Fee Assistance Program for MCAT and allopathic application fees. As for BFE, I apologize, but if you have not heard of BFE, I am not going to be the one to explain it to you. I will tell you that it is near TimBuckToo.
     
  13. AmberE

    AmberE Member
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    How do you apply for the fee waiver? And, what do you have to make to qualify for it?
     
  14. medic170

    medic170 American Infidel
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    This is copied from : http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/fap/start.htm

    AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP)
    Login to the FAP Application

    Frequently Asked Questions for the FAP

    System & Browser Requirements
    You must meet specific system requirements to use the FAP application. More >>

    Contact Information:
    [email protected]
    (202) 828-0600 phone
    (202) 828-1120 fax

    Fee Assistance Program (FAP)
    Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
    2450 N Street NW
    Washington, DC 20037-1123



    About FAP
    The AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) was created to assist MCAT? examinees and AMCAS? applicants who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT or apply to AMCAS-participating schools. More >>

    Am I Eligible for FAP?
    This program is designed for those with extreme financial need, and eligibility for FAP is determined by reviewing the financial resources of both the applicant and the applicant's family. Only U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible. More >>

    How can I apply?
    First, you'll need the following documentation to prepare your application:

    Tax Filers: Federal Income Tax forms (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) for each party, including applicant, spouse (if applicable) and parents, filing taxes for the applicable tax year.
    Non-Tax Filers: W-2 forms for any party who is not filing a tax return but has earned income from work. Applicants must also include their Financial Aid Award Letters for the appropriate academic year if their primary source of support is educational aid/scholarships. All parties must document means of support for the applicable tax year.
    Next, complete the FAP Application. Click "Help" on any page within the application to view additional information. More >>

    FAP 2004 Calendar

    Approval for:
    Documentation Receipt Date*

    AMCAS 2005
    3 weeks prior to your first school deadline

    April 17,
    2004 MCAT
    February 20, 2004

    August 14,
    2004 MCAT
    June 18, 2004

    December 15, 2004: The final deadline for FAP application and documentation submissions. All FAP supporting documentation must be received by 5:00 PM (EST) December 15, 2004 in order to be considered for processing by the AAMC.

    The AAMC guarantees that FAP requests for which correct and complete documentation is received by the specified Documentation Receipt Date will be processed in time to meet deadlines associated with the MCAT administration or AMCAS application for which the receipt date is specified.
     
  15. Um...TimBuckToo? :confused: OK, sorry I asked. :(
     
  16. josephgoro

    josephgoro Member
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    i don't think i would look favorably on a "disadvantaged" student who labeled herself as such. any relevant individual characteristics shine through in recommendations, academic choices, and extracurricular activities and do not need to be highlighted for ad com sneering and snoring. :sleep: those who deserve special recognition for overcoming challenges would likely shy away from the term "disadvantaged," anyway, or at least find the label uncomfortable...

    those who embrace the category and all of its "advantages" generally irritate me. :mad:

    i think all of us have been disadvantaged at one point or another, and perhaps have even whined about it. hell, in my freshman year honors calc iii & lin. alg. class i was one of the minority who didn't have lin. alg and diff. eq. in high-school. :laugh: and in junior high, i knew kids who shaved their heads just so their parents wouldn't pull them by their hair while giving them their scheduled beatings. but you can bet they didn't write about that in their mit grad school application. :)

    they got in, too. you know how? they thought themselves above and stroger than their past :luck:
     
  17. josephgoro

    josephgoro Member
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    an amusing karma comment on my last post regarding "disadvantaged" status

    :rolleyes:

    "You're a jackass conformist. Nobody gives a **** what you think. You know nothing about sociology or anything beyond your white picket fences. Go to hell."
     
  18. japhy

    japhy Ski Bum
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    joseph,

    a couple of points. one, you use way too many smilies in your posts. yikes.

    but to the substance of your point. what we have been talking about is not temporary 'disadvantaged' status. rather, growing up in an environment where at every turn the deck is stacked against you. not having a math class is not being disadvantaged. not having any real opportunities growing up constitues a true disadvantage. i don't mean to belittle your background either. i also agree that many individuals would shy away from this title, however it is also important for med schools to be able to identify these individuals. as many of the more affluent posters have mentioned, they have had an easier time with this process and have many more opportunities. it is difficult to argue that america is not becoming a nation divided by class. several recent articles in the nytimes have highlighted this. schools such as harvard and other elite public schools are having an extremely difficult time getting low-income kids to apply.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/22/education/22COLL.html
    (if people need it i will cut and paste)

    also, that karma thing is bs. blow it off.
     
  19. Peterock

    Peterock "PeeT-Ro'k"
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    What trite oberservations, and unfortunately tainted with American calvinism no less... Applying disadvantaged is not taking some sort of low-road or easy way out, it's acknowledging the obvious inequities that certain applicants have had. The majority of medical school students are middle or upper class and have generally been spared some of life's harder lessons. Yes, they are talented and hard working, but many people are... and aren't as fortunate to have trust funds or parents molding their future pursuits.

    If you have lived a tough life and you are even applying to medical school YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOUR PAST.

    And the last time I checked, my AMCAS application was an intensely shallow way of representing me as a person. I'd say this is true for anyone. One can only write so much about their past without losing detail and focus for their passion: the practice of medicine. And let's face it, not everything that has challenged a person is appropriate knowledge for a medical school application.

    When you said "i think all of us have been disadvantaged at one point or another", it really just shows how little you understand. We're not talking about brief difficulties, but consistent, long term problems or at least acute ones. If for one time in my life, my hardships can be used for my benefit, then so be it. I realize that not every challenge is appropriate for a medical school application, but I'll take what I can get. Not every hardship makes you stronger, and most sure as hell doesn't make for good gpa's and MCATs.
     
  20. josephgoro

    josephgoro Member
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    If the inequities are obvious, why highlight them? Why focus on "what you've overcome" rather than "what you've accomplished?" Purely rhetorical question there...

    I also question your presumption of the average medical school applicant, particularly the trust fund thing. Just take a look at the average indebtedness numbers for medical schools, and mull them over. Dosn't smell of millions.

    Any application, including the AMCAS, is designed with certain things in mind. The AMCAS is not designed to convey your personality or history to the medical schools; it's more of a potpourri composed to satisfy individual school's pull. I'm sure you've noticed that most ad-coms don't even bother to read your personal statement, your kampf, until interview time, if even then.

    Let's consider personal experiences: I truly doubt you remember anything of your own life from second grade -- unless told to you or inferred from photos or videos, and I doubt you had much say in whether to shave your hair or not when you were seven or eight.

    But, these ... silly ... things aside, the "value" of my opinions, or yours, is not of concern here, and your attack is, I think, fairly trite too. The point of my original reply was productive; I was merely warning the original poster that not everyone is quite as liberal-minded as, well you, for example. It was meant to balance out the sophomoric opinions floating out here. Admission committees and deanships are, for the most part, not staffed by 20-somethings, and while your opinions may be high-minded and admirable, what matters is whether they are representative of those who matter. And not the public, lawyer-scripted opinions on websites -- real, gritty opinions. I believe my goal was successful, and I hope your catharsis helped. Oh, and those comments in the previous paragraphs; ignore them, they're for fun :p
     
  21. An Yong

    An Yong Senior Member
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    Just curious, but what qualifies as "disadvantaged"? Thing is, I'm not entirely sure if I'm disadvantaged because even though I've gone a long list of crap (poverty, welfare, food stamps, multiple divorces, parental abandonment, foster care, etc. etc..) all of that happened up until early high school. During high school, my dad got his act together and now life is much better (we're not rich, but we're no longer on welfare). I guess what I'm trying to say is, should I consider myself disadvantaged even though right now my life isn't so bad?
     
  22. Peterock

    Peterock "PeeT-Ro'k"
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    Not everyone can tell whether or not you were poor growing up or if you've had cancer in the past. Sometimes, you choose to make this knowledge known to provide insight into who you are to another person. What is obvious is that people who live through poverty or chronic diseases generally do not pursue academics as much as someone without these occurences ...aka disadvantages. So when these people apply to medical school, they highlight their accomplishments just like everyone else and their challenges make their accomplishments that much brighter. (Are you simply jealous of that?)

    The average medical student is upper middle class. The average couple in my state makes roughly 42k and is laughably poor compared to the average family whose child is in medical school. Medical students may be impoverished due to their parents not directly funding them anymore, but they have grown up with the luxuries of connections, insider information, Kaplan, tutors, private schools, and most importantly, parents who have either directly been in competitive academic systems or at least know that they are key in their child's success. Becoming a medical student is an obviously biased system. I'm sorry if someone didn't hand you this memo at your filthy rich young Republican convention. :laugh: <-- see a smiley face, I know you like them!

    I agree with your third paragraph. It's unfortunately very true.

    Most people can remember traumatic events back to the age of 3 or 4 with some minor details. To remember something from when I was nine isn't exactly remarkable. My 7 year old niece thought she was cute when she took regular scissors and gave herself a partial mohawk.... I don't think kids cutting their own hair is exactly novel.

    It'd be much easier to respect your posts if they weren't as insulting as they are. I'm guessing you're a 20-something yourself, and when you throw around barbs like saying the opinions in this thread are sophomoric I can only wonder what kind of person you are and where your motivations lie... I feel you are more than skilled enough as a writer to say " adcoms might think" instead of just stating what you personally think . See... I've interviewed as as a disadv. student and have had my past brought up in my interviews. I see that some people don't care and others do.

    Who have you talked to that gives you insight on this?

    Your post was simply your rant on what you think, not on what you've experienced. I do think your last few sentences are very important and we'd all like to know what adcoms are thinking. I can only wonder what a bunch of white 60-somethings think about a person who applies disadvantaged. I don't know... are you a 50-60 year-old adcom or are you just a 20-25 year old from the suburbs?

    My post wasn't at all cathartic. In fact, it was pretty damn constipated considering I held back exactly what I thought of you. I still feel like I'm showing you more respect than you've showed me.
     
  23. Mr Reddly

    Mr Reddly Snowglobe!
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    Hey Cerb! I thought you were boycotting pre-allo. :p
     
  24. Bedpan Commando

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    I'm in the same boat you are...my past sucked but now my life is doing real well. I'm not rich and my folks are still broke, but my life is stable and I have a lovely wife now. I too am also curious if I should put myself down as "disadvantaged".
     
  25. Hmmm...good question. I never even considered myself "disadvantaged"...kinda assumed if you had to ask, you weren't. :)
     
  26. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    If you are questioning whether or not you are disadvantaged then you are NOT disadvantaged. :rolleyes: You cannot fill out your application and say "I'm black" under the disadvantaged box or "I'm poor." That's crap.

    I applied for disadvantaged status for private matters that occurred during my undergraduate training. The admissions board takes what you write very seriously and you better be able to defend your claim and have evidence of it, i.e. hospital bills, a letter to vouch for your situation, et cetera.

    At least with my experience at UTSW and what I've heard one of the deans say, if you apply disadvantaged and it's not truly a concern, more or less you will be considered a whiny idiot and your application thrown out.
     
  27. medic170

    medic170 American Infidel
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    Wow! So since I decided to research and understand the emaning and intention of a subjective and amiguous question, I am going to be labeled a whining idiot and my application will be thrown out (if I decide to mark "disadvantaged"). I guess me dreams of medicine are shattered.

    I think its great to question whether you should mark disadvataged or not. EVERYBODY has disadvatages in their life, and personally, I think it is very smart to explore the subject before you mark the box. It does not specify what disadvantaged status id relative to. For example, I would say that i am at more of a disadvantage than the "typical" middle class college student. However, I would have to say that there are many others who have overcome more obstacles than I have, like the op for instance.

    Anyway, if questioning things like this makes me a whiney idiot, than I am the whiniest fool on Earth because, in my life, I question and analyze almost everything.

    Oh, and BTW, "I'm Black" IS a valid reason. I don't want to start a affirmative action debate, but minority status is considered disadvantaged at most schools, so giving a reason of "I am Black" is NOT crap!
     
  28. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    I applied as disadvantaged and wrote alot about it both in my disadvantaged essay and my personal statement. I think it helped me at some schools, while other schools simply ignored it. I don't think that it hurt me anywhere. I know for a fact it got me my interview at Penn MD/PhD, and without being disadvantaged, my app would have gone right in the reject pile.

    So is it worth it? If they see you as overcoming significant adversity, definately. I think you qualify.
     
  29. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    Yes it is. Why does the shade of your skin put you at a disadvantage by default?

    Now if you happen to be a black student that grew up in the ghetto and managed to pull yourself up by the boot straps then yea you have an argument. But go ahead and check the box and put "I'm black." We'll see where you get into.

    And before you jump to conclusions that I am some snotty rich white girl, come at me correct. I'm black. In fact, I'm a child of immigrant African parents who were REALLY at a disadvantage. (*Imagine being black, foreign, with an accent, no family support, and going to University of ALABAMA- birmingham in the early 70's*).
     
  30. medic170

    medic170 American Infidel
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    QUOTE=ndi_amaka]Yes it is. Why does the shade of your skin put you at a disadvantage by default? [/QUOTE]

    Like I said, I don't want to statrt an affirmative action debate. However, as it stands now at most schools, being a URM, which includes African Americans, gives an applicant an advantage. Are you really not aware of this? Its in the news and highly debated every day!

    Well, I am not an African American, so I will not be telling the ADCOMS that I am Black. I am not exactly sure what you mean by this. Being a URM is usually looked upon favorably, which would indeed help a person "see where they get into".

    Anyway, I am just going to drop this subject. The affirmative action debate, much like abortion, is an issue that will be debated for many years to come. But it is true that African Americans are, indeed, considered disadvantaged my most colleges and universities outside of California.
     
  31. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    We are arguing two different things. Within the main application is a section that asks if you are disadvantaged and to describe your situation. This box is not where you go into a dissertation about Socioeconomic status and race...this is the section where you describe any abnormalities that may have affected your performance as an undergraduate. No minority student in his or her right mind is going to fill out the box and say "I'm black." He or she may explain that they grew up poor and struggled to work through college or something like that but merely saying that your race by default implies that a poor white student doesn't go through the same hurdles.

    I am more than aware of the affirmative action issue in this country. I attend UT-Austin...the birthplace of the Hopwood decision. I know that admissions committees want more minority students and encourage more to apply and race is always in the equation when deciding whom to select. But affirmative action as many would like, does not yet exist in admissions decisions. I know more black premeds that are not in med school than are.
     
  32. josephgoro

    josephgoro Member
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    I'm sorry your post wasn't as cathartic as I'd hoped. Again, my original post wasn't there to discredit your opinions. I didn't know of your existence until your "reply" came unto the scene. The intention of my post was to balance the opinions that were being touted in the thread, which at the time in _my opinion_ were misleading, largely because of the differences in demographics between ad-coms and pre-meds.

    I don't think it's foul play to mention "disadvantages" such as going through cancer, a disease of a loved one, or growing up poor in a county where the term evolution is used a harbinger of evil. The white space for the personal statement is there for that. If somethng is so critical for the development of your personality and character -- by all means, let it pour. What I think is wrong is to specifically label oneself "disadvantaged" on the application unless the fact is truly transparent. And by wrong I simply mean a bit unwise, which was I think highlighted by another poster on this thread who applied disadvantaged and had justifiable reasons for doing so. If you apply as "disadvantaged," your whole file better have an impressive list of grievances to fate, or you may be dismissed as a whiny little black/white/asian boy/girl/whatever. I know I would.

    What I think is what I've lived, either directly or indirectly, and always through sensory experience. I think any other claim would be epistemologically absurd. But, maybe you have other ideas?

    The upper middle-class thing: I don't know. I'd like to take a poll of how many parents of pre-meds can afford the premiums on their health insurance. I know quite a few who can't. Surely, these are anecdotal cases and don't make for a solid study, but... it's fodder for opinion.
    And the rest of that list, too: "luxuries of connections, insider information, Kaplan, tutors, private schools, and most importantly, parents who have either directly been in competitive academic systems or at least know that they are key in their child's success." Very amusing.
    I'm sorry, but that sounds like the whiny motto of someone who complains of "the rich white folk with all the advantages," although it seems you've had quite a bit of support to get this far.
    By the way, for me those are: no, no, no, no, no, and a resounding no.
    I have had one major advantage in my life: a $70,000 grant in the form of free public middle and high-school education. And so I'm not jealous of other people's successes, as I'm quite proud of my own.

    As far as your interviews went; well, I hope they went well. If I were interviewing you, a self-labeled disadvantaged student, I'd certainly bring up your past too, but not because I'd particularly care about your past. Instead I'd wonder whether you'd fit in at the school, whether your personal characteristics merit acceptance, whether your application as "disadvantaged" is more than just living through poverty, or a minor chronic disease, or being a minority, or not being born here .... well, most things that matter very little.

    Please keep in mind that I have not attacked you personally; I know very little about you, although I don't think we'd get along very well. :) I still don't think you remember much of anything from when you were eight. I know I flayed my hand open with a knife while cutting an apple when I was six, but I don't quite remember this, although I have evidence of it on my hand. And I doubt your sister remembers much of anything about her mohawk, except maybe the hilarious stories of the incident often retold to her to "solidify her memory." Memory is fleeting but false memories are easily constructed.

    I wonder what yours will be of this exchange. Ciao.
     
  33. Ryo-Ohki

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    "Classifications and distinctions based on race or color have no legal or moral validity in our society. They are contrary to our constitution and laws, and this Court has struck down statutes, ordinances or official policies seeking to establish such classifications.

    The United States Constitution Prohibits Government Classifications Based on Race or Ancestry. In recent cases the Supreme Court has held on many occasions under a variety of circumstances that racial criteria are irrational, irrelevant, odious to our way of life and specifically proscribed under the Fourteenth Amendment."

    Indeed we were fed notions that "racial discrimation was wrong" and "no one should be judged upon the color of their skin". However, the truth rears its ugly head. "Race should be a factor", "I'm black is a valid reason", etc. No one likes to be discriminated on the basis of their race. I'm black is no more of a valid reason than I'm white.
     
  34. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    I did a short little search, and I think it's interesting that the AMCAS website for fee waivers has no instructions about what to do if your parents are on long-term disability or welfare - ie, don't pay taxes. To me this suggests that there aren't many ppl applying to med school who have parents in this situation.

    As to whether it's kosher to apply disadvantaged as a stable adult after a very disadvantaged childhood and young adulthood, I think it is, and I intend to do so. Part of that is because I am still dealing with the issues I was dealing with in the past (I take care of the mentally ill mom who raised me), and part of this is because I really do believe that, even though I'm financially stable now, I AM still deeply effected by the kind of educational opportunities I had growing up. I didn't graduate from highschool, because I had to work, and in college that had a profound effect on my performance.

    Joseph, graduating from college for me is a freaking miracle, let alone applying to medical school. I own my background and my status as a disadvantaged applicant, and I'm not ashamed of either one.

    Nanon
     
  35. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    I remember quite clearly having to stay with my teacher after school in the 2nd grade because my father had went on a bender and ended up shooting holes through the walls in my house and threatening to kill my mom. I also remember sitting in school in 3rd grade hoping dad didnt get out of jail that day. Don't tell me what I remember and how it affected my upbringing.

    I've never asked for pity because of my circumstances and despite my circumstances i've been able to do fairly well in school. However, i can assure you that my background has shaped me and a little extra essay space sure would be nice to talk about how.
     
  36. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    This is what I did. By the time I applied to medical school I was stable, and my parents (well at least my father) was more stable.

    Now, one thought I neglected earlier is the question of whether this personal information would be just as helpful in your personal statement alone as it is in both your personal statement and in the disadvantaged section. On that I'm really not sure. It's obvious that checking "I'm disadvantaged" does not give the same benefit as marking a URM race in the race/ethnicity box. Still, I would still say that applying disadvantaged is not going to hurt, and it may help.

    My thought is that it would take some serious cold-hearted conservative to fault you for claiming disadvantaged if you have at least a semi-legitamate reason for it. I don't know any adcoms that are like this--only SDN trolls...
     
  37. Farrah

    Farrah Senior Member
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    I feel embarassed to say disadvantaged. I feel like I am making an excuse. I have had a tough time but I feel if I don't do good on something I blame myself and not my circumstances.
     
  38. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    To me, it has nothing to do with blaming your circumstances. I think of blaming your circumstances as dropping out of college or being a loser in life and then begging for support because you've had a hard life.

    A few years ago, I saw a statistic that said that there are fewer students from low-income families than from URM groups in medical school . I believe it. A recent study showed that at UMich undergrad there were more children of at least one doctor parent than children of all other service jobs combined. I believe this as well, and I'm sure it applies to medical school. Unless you subscribe to the belief that the children of the poor are born dumber or lazier, we all know that these statistics are due to the reason of not having the resources to suceed. So then, it's my belief that those who have overcome significant adversity by way of income or other hardship should be recognized as such. Believe me, they are very rare in medical school.

    Maybe you disagree, and that's fine. It's up to you.
     
  39. MissM

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    I think that the very reason the question exists on the AMCAS is to provide space for you to talk about those circumstances in your past without having them dominate your application. If it weren't there, some people would have to use the entire very small personal statement space to describe their disadvantaged background and never get to talk about their more recent life experiences, why they want to be in medicine, etc. Nobody should have to define their app solely by their disadvantaged status, so discuss what you need to in that section and devote the personal statement to the rest of you. Best of luck Cerberus! :luck:
     
  40. japhy

    japhy Ski Bum
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    ryo-ohki,

    the constitution does not prohibit classifications based on race. there needs to be a compelling state interests and narrowly tailored means for a race based classification to be upheld. that is why the michigan law school case was upheld. it is very rare for a race based classification to hold, but it does happen.

    for the others, i applied disadvantaged and there is no reason to feel ashamed, embarrased, etc. these experiences are part of who you are and the fact that you have overcome them is truly impressive. i strongly recommend checking out that nytimes article i posted earlier. it is an eye opener.
     
  41. Peterock

    Peterock "PeeT-Ro'k"
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    Yes, there's a huge demographics difference b/t med school applicants and adcoms and an even bigger gap for someone who is applying disadvantaged - it's an unfortunate conservative system that many of us choose to deal with , it doesn't mean it's a fair system. We just put up with it.

    Are you sure you're not representing your own personal views instead of the concerns or thoughts of the adcoms? Yes, you can only make judgments based on sensory experiences (so I'm assuming you do not believe in God or any religion since neither of these really can be factually supported), however, I am not an expert on living as a black man in America or even how the fish market prices in Chinatown fluctuate. I have to rely on and assimilate information based on my physical observatoins and also what people tell me that obeys my personal reasoning. Afterall, I believe in the existence of electrons and their influence even though I have not seen or felt one.

    As far as whether or not you believe the background of an average medical student. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU THINK! Not at all, in fact. Nor does my opinion really count - this is a matter of pure facts.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?
    artid=100877&rendertype=abstract
    This was the first link I found when I searched for "socioeconomic background of medical students" on google. It reads "Almost half (43.5%) of the medical students came from neighbourhoods with median family incomes in the top quintile (p < 0.001)." Yes it's Canadian medical schools, but the study shows how ridiculously biased medical schools are in terms of selecting people from certain backgrounds. If a person who is in the upper middle class cannot afford health insurance, my advice to them is to stop trying to "keep up with the Jones's" and take care of your kids. Many Americans live beyond their means, that does not mean they are poor.

    Sometimes the personal statement of AMCAS does not allow a person to give relevant background on who they are. Factors such as race and socioeconomic background have obvious effects over whether someone applies to medical school and what kind of stats they have. Afterall, when I prepped for the MCAT I worked ~35hrs/ week, while most of my friends studied and went to the pool everyday. My score was still higher than theirs, however, I think that an extra 35 hours / week would have improved my score. Not necessarily, but very likely.

    Since I have proven that most premeds are upper middle class, then you must try to account for why. Either these people are inherently smarter and harder working than poorer people, or the reasons I listed could be possible explanations. You provide nothing in your argument but doubt. It is always easier to play a cynic, yet you provide no actual facts of your own.

    And for the record, my interviews went very well. There's something about not being a cookie-cutter premed whose parents forced him into medicine that stands out. My shortest interview was 35 mins... my longest one was two hours. Apparently, adcoms like to talk about subjects besides lab work and classes.

    If being black, hispanic, poor, non-english speaking etc didn't matter, then all of our doctors and lawyers would be be from very different backgrounds, which they are not. It might not matter to you, you're busy defending and justifying the unjust status quo, which <surprise!> benefits you.You seem to be very proud of your ignorance and you voice it well.

    What I will remember from this conversation is that you're most likely a very sheltered individual who has passive aggressively insulted me and others.

    Just for the record, what ugrad do you go to? (did you go to?) :smuggrin:
     

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