Is affirmative action in the admission process about to end?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Twiigg, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Twiigg

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    I've been thinking. We all know that affirmative action most definitely exists in the medical school application process, but is it to remain? For me, it seems hard to imagine the application process without it; it's always taken a seat in the back of my head.

    Anyway, most of us probably know that schools are not allowed to create a quota system; nor are they allowed to create a "point system" in which minority applicants automatically earn more points just because of the color of their skin, as set in Gratz v. Bollinger (2003). However, schools are allowed to make "special efforts" to achieve racial and ethnic diversity, according to Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). Yes, same school--the first was undergraduate and the second was law school. The former used this point system, which was ruled unconstitutional in the first case, and the latter used these "special efforts," which were barely ruled constitutional (by one vote) in the second case, stating that this route took a more "individualized" view of the applicants.

    Well, my question to you all is whether affirmative action has reached the end of the line. We've got two recently appointed conservative justices in the Supreme Court that would make the change likely if a case were brought to it. (Any volunteers? __________ v. Johns Hopkins... I can see it now.)

    Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who held a seat during these two cases and who has since retired, stated, "We expect 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary." Obviously, the Supreme Court doesn't see affirmative action's place in admissions much longer, relatively... So, what about you all? Do you think this policy will apply to future applicants in say 5, 10, 20 years?

    Note: This does not have to turn into a battle about affirmative action, per se. I'd rather get everyone's opinion on whether you think it will still exist in future admissions.
     
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  3. ejay286

    ejay286 Member

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    I'm black and have never agreed to AA, meaning there shouldnt be reserved spots for any type of individual. I do however think that adcoms should strive to admit a diverse class of individuals, a criteria that should include but not be limited to race.
     
  4. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering

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    I don't think it is about to end. I believe in equality, and everyone should be judged on their own merits. Every race, every gender, every country etc has its smart, stupid, weak, strong people. Let people be judged as people. I feel affirmative action goes against this and should be ended. No more ethnicity questions on applications! It is irrelevant information.
     
  5. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D

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    the second AA is over, we should all throw a huge party
     
  6. ejay286

    ejay286 Member

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    I don't see a problem with the question of ethnicity itself. I look at it as any other question such as where your from, who your parents are, if you were socioeconomically advantaged or disadvantaged. These are all factors of your life that you had no control over, yet it serves as part of a whole when identifying yourself as a person. If ethnicity were on an equal plane with these other inquiries I don't think much of a problem would be posed.

    EDIT: This above opinion is assuming all other important factors such as GPA, MCAT, ECs are present and competitive.
     
  7. adamMD

    adamMD MS-4

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    I think med schools should only be allowed to see your application number. They can find out how unique and diverse you are by your ECs, personal statement, and LORs. To answer the OPs question, I doubt it.

    One thing I know for sure is, if you really want in med school, you'll get there. No matter what you look like.
     
  8. Twiigg

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    Honestly, I think it will be over the second the supreme court decides to take the case that it involves. There now exists a conservative majority and it should only be a matter of time, that is, unless Obama gets in and is able to appoint a couple before a case gets there.
     
  9. Monica Lewinsky

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    They won't take a case up on it, at least in regards to the current state of med school admissions.

    The policies to diversify med school classes aren't quota based and the whole process is so subjective that it would be impossible to prove that one person got in over another solely due to racial background.

    You said, X v. Johns Hopkins, which would be quite a stretch for the supreme court to even take such a case since Hopkins is a privately run institution. The Supreme Court didn't mess with the Boy Scouts, what makes you think that they would mess with private medical schools?
     
  10. parto123

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    The courtÂ’s rulings would probably only apply to state schools, so private institutions will still be able to use it. Also, schools which are prohibited from using AA because of state law (like California) still blatantly use AA, like Berkeley.
     
  11. Twiigg

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    I agree that it is very subjective, which is why I think that if affirmative action were ever ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court it would still be very difficult to enforce. Johns Hopkins was just a fun example that came to mind first.

    The Supreme Court didn't mess with boy scouts for a few reasons, the last of which I think was most significant although not admitted to by the court, obviously:

    1. Like you said, it is a relatively small private organization and the equal protection clause applies only to the actions of government, not to those of private individuals.
    2. The overall mission of the Boy Scouts of America.
    3. Homosexuality is still not recognized as "out of one's control" so to speak. Although many people do choose to have homosexual experiences, the majority of homosexuals are acting out of all they know, whether that be due to nature or nurture. Would the Boy Scouts be allowed to exclude African Americans because it was a private organization and for some reason Blacks didn't coincide with the organization's mission? No. Yet they still do the same to homosexuals. Let's hope it is just a matter of time, though, as it was for African-Americans, women, etc.
     
  12. Quix

    Quix Herr Professor
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    I'm a fan of AA. Part of the issue of race and gender discrimination is that throughout history, a psychology of apathy and victimization has set in, which undermines efforts at self-betterment (the idea that "It doesn't matter what I try to do, because those in power will still keep me down"). Until there are role-models showing it is possible to succeed (in terms of equal pay and equal power to the historically dominant population), this sense of victimization will be perpetuated. Once the psychological and race barriers are genuinely down, then there isn't a need. Until that point, there is.
     
  13. flaahless

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    First, as evandavidson posted, affirmative action is not uniformly practiced by all med schools.

    I'm for affirmative action as a means to help oppressed people reach positions of power, and do not believe it should, or will, die out in 25 years if people understand that this is the main goal. However, AA is often misconstrued as a mere means to give minorities an advantage in the admissions process. I detest that stigma and truly hope that educated folk can look beyond the anti-minority propaganda that Linda Chavez and Ward Connerly pump out. But I don't think that's going to happen. Many people use AA as a scapegoat for their own inequities and lack of success in the app process, which fosters resentment toward particular groups of people and perpetuates negative attitudes against minorities. As long as that remains true, affirmative action will never stand a chance.

    As far as AA goes, I'm all for it and I hope it doesn't die out in 25 years. But first let me define affirmative action. It is a
     
  14. flaahless

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    I don't think that will happen in 25 years.
     
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  16. ejay286

    ejay286 Member

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    What you have cited applies more to socioeconomics than it does to race. I'm a black kid from the suburbs and most of the black ppl from underprivileged areas don't identify with me and vice versa. Now if one of the kids from their own neighborhood were to graduate college and attend medical school it would undoubtedly be more influential than just seeing a random black face giving them a check up.
     
  17. Quix

    Quix Herr Professor
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    I'll agree that it applies to socioeconomic status in addition to race, but not more than.
     
  18. ejay286

    ejay286 Member

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    Well I think these factors could be "separate but equal" (maybe that wasn't a good choice of words considering the subject), anywho, SE status has a more broad demographic, no matter what race you are if you grow up poor you're gonna feel like you're already two steps behind.

    I grew up in what I consider an "upper-middle class" home. However, being black in a 90% white community in southern Arkansas did give me the feeling even through my prepubescent years that I needed to be above and beyond the white kids at any given endeavor to be considered equal, and more times than not it proved to be true. I didn't see this as a hindrance, just a small hurdle. Going through this application process is the first time in my life that I felt like I actually had an advantage because of my race, seeing as my top choice usually only has 3 or 4 minorities in a class of 155 I know I will undoubtedly stand out as an applicant. Being a male gives me another slight push considering that of those 3 or 4 minority acceptances every year the number of males is usually between 0-1. My opinion on that, however, will make me go on my "bill cosby" tangent and this isnt the thread for that.
     
  19. mtrks

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    mmmmm, pudding pops........
     
  20. ejay286

    ejay286 Member

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    Exactly

    [​IMG]
     
  21. link2swim06

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    Do you have to answer what ethnicity you are or are you allowed to refuse to answer? I am wondering becuase I don't see an ethical basis for asking me this question, is it it even legal for them to force you to answer it?
     
  22. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    AA will only go away when the major differences between ethnicities do as well. And we're a LONG way away from that. Simple as that.
     
  23. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D

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    but do you know how many minorities apply to this school and the percent that get accepted? also, what are the average stats of these minorities who do get in?? the strength of their essays, lors, EC's? there are so many variables, and i think it would be ill-conceived to look at the 3 or 4 minorities and think you have a distinct advantage of getting in. seems like the opposite to me.. id think not many minorities (assuming u mean urms) get in in the first place.

    just my $0.02
     
  24. neurocirujano

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    AFFIRMATIVE ACTION SUCKS! :mad:

    Okay, I feel much better now. Sorry, but I don't understand what people find so appealing about reverse discrimination.
     
  25. flaahless

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    Cosign

    Try and stay on topic instead of inciting a flame war.
     
  26. ejay286

    ejay286 Member

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    You're exactly right, it is kind of a bittersweet thing. I've done hours and hours of number crunching to deduce that I have a slight advantage. I do have knowledge of the minority stats and the stats of the classes as a whole.
     
  27. neurocirujano

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    I withdraw my first statement, but hold to my second. Is it not reverse discrimination?
     
  28. flaahless

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    How so?
     
  29. ejay286

    ejay286 Member

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    Efforts for diversity that prohibit white or any other races participation are reverse discrimination. These same types of efforts that do not engage in these types of antics aren't, or at least thats how i see it.
     
  30. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    this just a reminder to keep this discussion civil. opinions are ok, but please do not resort to insulting other posters.

    thanks.
     
  31. katarzyna

    katarzyna neutrino. neutritious?

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    <--- minority

    but i think AA is uneccesary.
     
  32. flaahless

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    why?
     
  33. katarzyna

    katarzyna neutrino. neutritious?

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  34. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering

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    It is not reverse discrimination, it is discrimination! But along those lines everyone is discriminated against because of what gpa/MCAT scores we have, etc.
     
  35. flaahless

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    #34 flaahless, Jun 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2008
  36. katarzyna

    katarzyna neutrino. neutritious?

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    lol. yeah. discrimination is discrimination.

    adcoms have to discriminate (gpa, ec's mcat etc) or else they would be just accepting everyone to medical school.
     
  37. neurocirujano

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    Yes, but these are based on merit.
     
  38. flaahless

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    Somewhat.
     
  39. neurocirujano

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    Well... Since people who aren't white have something going for them in the application process that people who are white don't, wouldn't that constitute discrimination against a white person? I mean, heck I wish I were black, but I'm just not. I can't control that!

    Besides, I remember reading somewhere (I'll try and find it) that by 2020 or so Caucasians will no longer be the majority in the United States. I mean, already whites are the majority-minority* in California and Texas (and of course other smaller states as well).

    *majority-minority: they are the majority in the country, but the minority in the state

    Just my thoughts on the matter. Feel free to rebuke me!
     
  40. flaahless

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  41. neurocirujano

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    Okay, okay... I know. People can pay tons of money for MCAT prep classes. That's what you're hinting at, right? Still, they had to study and work hard in those classes. It wasn't just a free-bee. Fact: equality of opportunity will never exist in the United States or anywhere else. Unless you believe in Zion, in which case I would be wrong. :rolleyes:
     
  42. neurocirujano

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  43. Twiigg

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    Jolie, where'd that Simpson-looking character go? She was like... you. :confused:
     
  44. Twiigg

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    Affirmative action will not be around forever. I'm pretty confident I will see it die before I do. :)
     
  45. flaahless

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    That's a fallacy. Prove it.

    Heck, I wish you were too. We need more African American physicians.

    Anyways, you're looking at AA from the racial perspective. It's much more than that. What about Veterans? You know AA extends to them too.

    And as far as CA and TX being majority minority states, well I don't know about TX, but CA is prohibted by law from practicing AA.
     
  46. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D

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  47. neurocirujano

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    Prove what my good sir!?

    How much service do you have to do for that? Combat?
     
  48. flaahless

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    "Well... Since people who aren't white have something going for them in the application process that people who are white don't."

    Prove that.

    I think you just have to serve and not get a dishonorable discharge.
     
  49. neurocirujano

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    URM status?
     
  50. flaahless

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    Conjecture at best.
     
  51. flaahless

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