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Do med schools just throw out applications from people who "decline to respond" for ethnicity?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ExtremeProton, May 17, 2014.

  1. ExtremeProton

    ExtremeProton Banned Banned Account on Hold

    May 15, 2014
    I've been looking through the MSAR - in the matriculant's demographics section - and I can't find any schools that admitted people who put "decline to state" for the ethnicity form.

    I'm just wondering because I'm mixed and have always struggled with my identity in a country where I am constantly being forced to define myself in terms of what my race is. I know you can put multiple check marks, but my experiences as a multiracial individual have led me to think a lot about the concept of race and I've come to the conclusion that I personally don't really believe in the concept of race.
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  3. alt12345

    alt12345 2+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    Not sure about your original question, but that sure sounds like a great personal statement theme! You should write about it. I'd love to read that.
    ExtremeProton likes this.
  4. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011

    LizzyM and touchpause13 like this.
  5. pawprint

    pawprint 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    My advisor at my undergrad school is on the graduate business school admissions committee and he told me he automatically throws away any applications that are marked "decline to state" for stuff life that. He told me it was because since he receives so many applications, he would rather pick the people who were straightforward about all of their answers, even if you are given the option to "decline to state". Now, hes not on a med school admissions committee...but I would be careful marking that answer that way.
    ExtremeProton likes this.
  6. ExtremeProton

    ExtremeProton Banned Banned Account on Hold

    May 15, 2014
    See - that's what I'm worried about!
  7. PreciousHamburgers

    PreciousHamburgers 2+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Then can you comment on the MSAR data? I'm curious about this as well.
  8. breakintheroof

    breakintheroof MS-Zero 2+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    Huh, you're right. I had to check the MSAR myself, and I did not see one single "declined to respond" for this question among matriculants.

    This surprises me, given the many valid reasons for not answering this question, such as OP's.
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  9. compstomper

    compstomper 7+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    I understand your predicament, but I would think based on all the race related threads on this forum that if a candidate declined to state their race, then the school/adcom would assume they are white or ORM (i.e. Asian).
  10. chiberian husky

    chiberian husky zzz

    May 12, 2014
    i had the same issue as OP... hate concept of race cause it is just a lie. & every time i check a box it just reminds me of all the stupid people who thought i was adopted when i was with my biological mom. and i'll never be a true asian/korean or a true white/american because of the bs these stupid check box perpetuate.

    but guess what, i checked my boxes because i've always felt that i'm damned if i do & damned if i don't. so there you go.
    orthogenes and ExtremeProton like this.
  11. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011
    I don't know why the MSAR doesn't show that or why schools don't report it. I just know that applications aren't thrown out for declining to state your race/ethnicity.
  12. xffan624

    xffan624 5+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2013
    I declined to respond -- 5 II's one acceptance, no issues or comments.
  13. moop

    moop 1K Member Banned Account on Hold

    Dec 14, 2013
    I have hopes this thread will end on a high note
    PreciousHamburgers likes this.
  14. shenellica

    shenellica 2+ Year Member

    May 10, 2013
    mixed people can do 3 things. you can check both boxes, one box, or none. you are right, race is a social construct & constantly changing. unfortunatly we live in society. I am mixed as well but only identify as one category. some people ask me questions since my phenotype doesn't match what I am. that doesn't bother me since I know what I am & I'm not here to make other people happy.

    as for ethnicity that is a self defined category & only you can say what you are. it doesn't matter if people agree with you or not. what language did you speak growing up? what food did you eat? what religion are you? remember that race & ethnicity are not the same thing & are not interchangeable terms
    ExtremeProton likes this.
  15. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Nope. I see "No designation" tons of times on app forms.

  16. operavore

    operavore ASA Member 2+ Year Member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Take a look at the bottom of this page. It looks like about 1/10 of Tufts' class declined to put down their race.
  17. Leoz M Jiliums

    Leoz M Jiliums 2+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2013
    My friend and I both declined to respond, I got 9II, and was eventually accepted to a top 25 with a merit scholly, and he got into 4 of the top 5 schools after attending 14 interviews.

    It truly doesn't matter, trust me.
    Lindsey Freeman and orthogenes like this.
  18. bloggy101


    May 6, 2013
    Pardon my cynicism, but it seems that if one's name is a URM-ORM ethnic giveaway (i.e. Rodriguez/Li vs. Jackson/Cooper) then adcoms will still be able to decipher one's race regardless of one answering the race question or not...
  19. trino

    trino 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2013
    What if they married into the name? Keep in mind two things: secondaries usually ask to provide a picture, and you can only get accepted after you've interviewed and they've seen you. There's many pieces to this puzzle, but self identification is just easiest.
  20. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    I guess I just don't understand the problem. Why not just check the boxes and move on? Whether you choose to check one box, 2, or 5, it doesn't change who you are. It's just a box.
    trino likes this.
  21. Leoz M Jiliums

    Leoz M Jiliums 2+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2013
    My name is a giveaway, my activities were as well, I just wasn't comfortable checking the box.
  22. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Interesting that OP got banned so fast. I guess the mods are tired of this stuff?
    orthogenes and Mr Interesting like this.

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