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Is it because I'm black?

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BLACKMD

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Let me first say, my last name is Black, that's the reason for my screen name.

Hopefully this isn't a repetitive topic, and I didn't want to post it in URM thread as I want everyone's opinion. Yesterday I spoke with an admissions counselor at my state school. I told her my stats are cGPA 3.6
sGPA 3.54
No MCAT yet
Army 7 years
7 years hospital experience both clinical and non (paid)
Free clinic volunteering
Peds/FP shadowing
No research yet
Etc

Anyway, she wasn't digging my stats, and gave me a few pointers. Once she found out I was black (or light brownish hehe) she did a 180 and backtracked telling me some of the things she had just mentioned weren't all that necessary (post bac work, research, gap year) considering I'm a URM. What gives? I'm not saying I'm not grateful for opportunities but I almost feel like I'm cheating the system. I must say, medical school is the only thing in life where being black and poor has been advantageous to me. End rant
 

getdown

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Let me first say, my last name is Black, that's the reason for my screen name.

Hopefully this isn't a repetitive topic, and I didn't want to post it in URM thread as I want everyone's opinion. Yesterday I spoke with an admissions counselor at my state school. I told her my stats are cGPA 3.6
sGPA 3.54
No MCAT yet
Army 7 years
7 years hospital experience both clinical and non (paid)
Free clinic volunteering
Peds/FP shadowing
No research yet
Etc

Anyway, she wasn't digging my stats, and gave me a few pointers. Once she found out I was black (or light brownish hehe) she did a 180 and backtracked telling me some of the things she had just mentioned weren't all that necessary (post bac work, research, gap year) considering I'm a URM. What gives? I'm not saying I'm not grateful for opportunities but I almost feel like I'm cheating the system. I must say, medical school is the only thing in life where being black and poor has been advantageous to me. End rant

You're not cheating the system just playing within the rules the system set up. It's no difference than medical schools having some preference for the kids of their own alumni. Or Harvard giving preference to legacy kids and the kids of famous people. If you benefit than you benefit. Your stats also aren't that terrible 3.6/3.5. If you get a 32+ on the MCAT you have a pretty good chance of getting accepted.
 

Guero

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Let me first say, my last name is Black, that's the reason for my screen name.

Hopefully this isn't a repetitive topic, and I didn't want to post it in URM thread as I want everyone's opinion. Yesterday I spoke with an admissions counselor at my state school. I told her my stats are cGPA 3.6
sGPA 3.54
No MCAT yet
Army 7 years
7 years hospital experience both clinical and non (paid)
Free clinic volunteering
Peds/FP shadowing
No research yet
Etc

Anyway, she wasn't digging my stats, and gave me a few pointers. Once she found out I was black (or light brownish hehe) she did a 180 and backtracked telling me some of the things she had just mentioned weren't all that necessary (post bac work, research, gap year) considering I'm a URM. What gives? I'm not saying I'm not grateful for opportunities but I almost feel like I'm cheating the system. I must say, medical school is the only thing in life where being black and poor has been advantageous to me. End rant
"The impetus . . . is to redress the disadvantages associated with overt historical discrimination." The logic is that the underrepresentation in medicine stems from centuries of subjugation and the consequent disproportionately limited educational opportunities. Committees thus allow more leeway in the grades to help more people overcome those ascribed barriers.

Unfortunately, the thread will now tail spin into heated, childish debate about affirmative action and the merits of the above actions. :/
 

BLACKMD

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She threw out some statistics of her own saying only about 65% nonURM with my stats and a 30 MCAT are accepted while a URM with the same stats are well into the 90% accepted range. This is crazy to me. o_O
 

BLACKMD

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"The impetus . . . is to redress the disadvantages associated with overt historical discrimination." The logic is that the underrepresentation in medicine stems from centuries of subjugation and the consequent disproportionately limited educational opportunities. Committees thus allow more leeway in the grades to help more people overcome those ascribed barriers.

Unfortunately, the thread will now tail spin into heated, childish debate about affirmative action and the merits of the above actions. :/

I really hope not. I'm new here and don't want to stir the pot! I guess I just didn't realize the emphasis and importance of AA within the medical school application process.
 

Guero

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I really hope not. I'm new here and don't want to stir the pot! I guess I just didn't realize the emphasis and importance of AA within the medical school application process.
You're fine. It happens. And so does the ensuing debate. Give it a minute. :)
 

Girly X

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I think you have the option of not self-identifying on the AMCAS app, if this bothers you so much. Just do well on the MCAT and you'll be fine with your GPA. And by all means do research etc., if you are interested in it, and especially if you plan to apply to any top tier research schools.
 

BLACKMD

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I think you have the option of not self-identifying on the AMCAS app, if this bothers you so much. Just do well on the MCAT and you'll be fine with your GPA. And by all means do research etc., if you are interested in it, and especially if you plan to apply to any top tier research schools.

I actually might take that advice. I don't plan on any top tier schools but I do plan on MD over DO so I need to make time for research in the next year. Thanks :)
 

dsoz

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I am white as a cracker. I have almost EXACTLY those same GPAs. Also, very little on the ECs. Although, I have been a high school teacher for XX number of years. My MCAT was a 31.

I had plenty of interview offers, and 3 acceptances before I canceled everything else.

My opinion, your GPA and ECs are fine. Get a good MCAT (30+) and you are good to go. The color of your skin will not matter. Your stats will speak for themselves.

Now, if your MCAT is a little lower, then the URM status will help you out. You just need to make sure your MCAT is higher so nobody can complain about how you used the URM card.

Good luck. Do well on the MCAT and you will do great.

dsoz
 

BLACKMD

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I am white as a cracker. I have almost EXACTLY those same GPAs. Also, very little on the ECs. Although, I have been a high school teacher for XX number of years. My MCAT was a 31.

I had plenty of interview offers, and 3 acceptances before I canceled everything else.

My opinion, your GPA and ECs are fine. Get a good MCAT (30+) and you are good to go. The color of your skin will not matter. Your stats will speak for themselves.

Now, if your MCAT is a little lower, then the URM status will help you out. You just need to make sure your MCAT is higher so nobody can complain about how you used the URM card.

Good luck. Do well on the MCAT and you will do great.

dsoz

3 acceptances with the same stats! That's wonderful news. I still have a year left as a nontrad so I won't take my MCAT til I'm completely done with this degree. Thanks for the encouragement!
 

Moose A Moose

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Hey, man: just play the cards you were handed. Your stats are respectable either way.
 

jakeislove

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One black dude getting some love really doesn't affect the total picture of medical education.

Even if you get a full ride, it'll all be pay it all back (in spades :) ) every time someone asks a stupid question, makes a wild assumption, or the bile burns your esophagus upon hearing "You're very articulate!"

In the bigger picture, nothing in life is ever free. :)
 
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medic86

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Take every edge you have, OP.

I would if I could. I'm half white, half Korean - I'm a mixture of two ethnicities over-represented in medicine. :p
 

The Beyonder

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Let me first say, my last name is Black, that's the reason for my screen name.

Hopefully this isn't a repetitive topic, and I didn't want to post it in URM thread as I want everyone's opinion. Yesterday I spoke with an admissions counselor at my state school. I told her my stats are cGPA 3.6
sGPA 3.54
No MCAT yet
Army 7 years
7 years hospital experience both clinical and non (paid)
Free clinic volunteering
Peds/FP shadowing
No research yet
Etc

Anyway, she wasn't digging my stats, and gave me a few pointers. Once she found out I was black (or light brownish hehe) she did a 180 and backtracked telling me some of the things she had just mentioned weren't all that necessary (post bac work, research, gap year) considering I'm a URM. What gives? I'm not saying I'm not grateful for opportunities but I almost feel like I'm cheating the system. I must say, medical school is the only thing in life where being black and poor has been advantageous to me. End rant

I think you're thinking about this wrong. LizzyM said military service is worth 5 points. Admins love vets. You do well on the MCAT and you're golden no matter what your skin color is. Many vets have received a good bump because of their service. Chill dude!!!
 
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BLACKMD

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"Dude" and "man" lead me to believe you think I'm of male gender, which is inaccurate :p Proud female vet here just trying to find my way. Glad to hear the vet status is a bump. I'm gunning for an Army scholarship so well see how this all plays out
 

Guero

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"Dude" and "man" lead me to believe you think I'm of male gender, which is inaccurate :p Proud female vet here just trying to find my way. Glad to hear the vet status is a bump. I'm gunning for an Army scholarship so well see how this all plays out
And that, mis amigos, is why I always use the "s/he" pronoun and diligently try to avoid assuming anyone's gender/sex/orientation. :p
 

The Beyonder

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And that, mis amigos, is why I always use the "s/he" pronoun and diligently try to avoid assuming anyone's gender/sex/orientation. :p

I always thought of dude as encompassing all genders. Sorry.
 

jakeislove

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"Dude" and "man" lead me to believe you think I'm of male gender, which is inaccurate :p Proud female vet here just trying to find my way. Glad to hear the vet status is a bump. I'm gunning for an Army scholarship so well see how this all plays out

No offense was intended. I'm a Vet, too!

At some point; things that were once from bothersome become amusing.

Personally, I didn't get any love. Was black at the wrong time, place, and never had a good plan. Was pretty naive about race/racism but do feel it matters less now but probably more in some professional scenarios. Left a small town at 17 and a black officer gave me the most racist advice I've ever heard. It was almost 30 years ago and I've never once been in a professional situation where he's been proven wrong. I pretty much ignore race but accept others make assumptions and decisions based upon what they see.
 

cookiemonsters

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While on the topic of URM, I saw a copy of The Economist in a store yesterday, and the cover story is about the need to end affirmative action. Can't wait to read it.
 

BLACKMD

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No offense was intended. I'm a Vet, too!

At some point; things that were once from bothersome become amusing.

Personally, I didn't get any love. Was black at the wrong time, place, and never had a good plan. Was pretty naive about race/racism but do feel it matters less now but probably more in some professional scenarios. Left a small town at 17 and a black officer gave me the most racist advice I've ever heard. It was almost 30 years ago and I've never once been in a professional situation where he's been proven wrong. I pretty much ignore race but accept others make assumptions and decisions based upon what they see.

No offense taken! I have a very light skin tone and outside of high school I have NEVER experienced racism. I guess I'm just shocked its favorable now. Like "you want to give me what? Because I'm a darker shade? Why?" Like I said, I might not claim URM because I have never been negatively viewed or held back because of my race. HOWEVER, I grew up very poor, and will absolutely claim disadvantaged. I've felt the resistance of a poor high school education with lack of benefits. Because I actually experienced it, I feel justified in claiming it. Race? Not so much.
 

Guero

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No offense was intended. I'm a Vet, too!

At some point; things that were once from bothersome become amusing.

Personally, I didn't get any love. Was black at the wrong time, place, and never had a good plan. Was pretty naive about race/racism but do feel it matters less now but probably more in some professional scenarios. Left a small town at 17 and a black officer gave me the most racist advice I've ever heard. It was almost 30 years ago and I've never once been in a professional situation where he's been proven wrong. I pretty much ignore race but accept others make assumptions and decisions based upon what they see.
Great post. You should read Patricia Collins's Black Feminist Thought. Her concept of the Matrix of Domination is so obvious even today; it's sad.

<---- 1 of my 3 majors was sociology with an emphasis in social theory :oops:
 

chopes31

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No offense taken! I have a very light skin tone and outside of high school I have NEVER experienced racism. I guess I'm just shocked its favorable now. Like "you want to give me what? Because I'm a darker shade? Why?" Like I said, I might not claim URM because I have never been negatively viewed or held back because of my race. HOWEVER, I grew up very poor, and will absolutely claim disadvantaged. I've felt the resistance of a poor high school education with lack of benefits. Because I actually experienced it, I feel justified in claiming it. Race? Not so much.

I read earlier in this thread that you are not necessarily shooting for top-tier schools. However, with a solid MCAT score, I think it's worth going for some "reach" schools if you are interested. Even if you don't claim URM, your experience and credentials are strong and from your writing (on an internet forum for that matter), you come off as intelligent and articulate. I think that those characteristics will be evident in your personal statement when you apply. Good luck!
 
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Girly X

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This must be one of the nicest, everyone-is-getting along (potential) urm thread on SDN.


:highfive:
 

Guero

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I read earlier in this thread that you are not necessarily shooting for top-tier schools. However, with a solid MCAT score, I think it's worth going for some "reach" schools if you are interested. Even if you don't claim URM, your experience and credentials are strong and from your writing (on an internet forum for that matter), you come off as intelligent and articulate. I think that those characteristics will be evident in your personal statement when you apply. Good luck!
+1

Reach schools are always a good idea. I applied to a reach school, somehow got in right after my interview, and will be matriculating there this fall. Who knew? Every shot not taken is a shot missed.
 

Girly X

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I read earlier in this thread that you are not necessarily shooting for top-tier schools. However, with a solid MCAT score, I think it's worth going for some "reach" schools if you are interested. Even if you don't claim URM, your experience and credentials are strong and from your writing (on an internet forum for that matter), you come off as intelligent and articulate I think that those characteristics will be evident in your personal statement when you apply. Good luck!

Maybe I spoke too soon lol!

:nono:




notsrs
 

Guero

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C'mon now! That might be the one post that incites the tailspin, even with the notsrs.

So...I give you this funny:
20-awesome-animated-gifs-4-19-12.gif
 

beBrave

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You have balanced stats. Ignore her. Your main focus at this point should be on the MCAT. Many students with a 4.0 GPA and 30 MCAT with zero hospital experience get the door slammed in their faces. You have shown a willingness to work with sick people and also display an aptitude for the sciences needed in medicine. You have a very solid app overall. You simply can't pay too much attention to every admissions counselor. I had one counselor tell me that I shouldn't even apply and then realized that her grade calculations weren't correct based on school standards. Afterwards I spoke with various other school reps at different med schools who told me I would be able to apply with my stats and gave me great advice for improving my application so I could have a more solid chance during the selection process. As I said, you can't take everyone too seriously.
 

BLACKMD

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Props to everyone for remaining calm, cool and collected! Apparently that is new here? I'm new so I haven't seen the previous tail spins on a URM post. BUT I will say the military shatters all race/ethnic barriers. You give a damn less what colors surround you as long as they can get their job done and shoot. I've been fortunate in my line of work. Race simply doesn't matter.
 

Guero

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Props to everyone for remaining calm, cool and collected! Apparently that is new here? I'm new so I haven't seen the previous tail spins on a URM post. BUT I will say the military shatters all race/ethnic barriers. You give a damn less what colors surround you as long as they can get their job done and shoot. I've been fortunate in my line of work. Race simply doesn't matter.
Or place an IV, deliver morphine, and stitch. :hungover:
 
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911 Turbo

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Surprising thread titte to non-flaming posts ratio in this thread




and I would just ignore your counselor
 

jr93

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While on the topic of URM, I saw a copy of The Economist in a store yesterday, and the cover story is about the need to end affirmative action. Can't wait to read it.

Not sure what you're getting at but medical school admissions isn't technically affirmative action. Schools seek diversity in more than just race and gender for many reasons (scholarships, the needs of the field, etc). The problem is that a white kid with a 33 MCAT may get rejected by 5 schools they wanted to go to and they think that some woman or ethnic minority took their spot when it's quite possible that a number of white males with 29 or 30 MCAT's may have gotten in as well. Some people just don't want to accept that they didn't get in because the school didn't want them. When I graduated college and did the never ending job search, I got no-replies from a number of jobs that I know I easily qualified for and would've been good at. That's just life. I also know a number of very good white doctors that didn't get in on their first cycle and got multiple acceptances on their second cycle and they have no clue why. Life is just rough sometimes. I had 5 interviews and 2 acceptances/1 waitlist. Of the 2 schools that rejected me flat out, I thought my best interview was at one of them. You never know what they're looking for.
 

jakeislove

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I read earlier in this thread that you are not necessarily shooting for top-tier schools. However, with a solid MCAT score, I think it's worth going for some "reach" schools if you are interested. Even if you don't claim URM, your experience and credentials are strong and from your writing (on an internet forum for that matter), you come off as intelligent and articulate. I think that those characteristics will be evident in your personal statement when you apply. Good luck!

You forgot to mention my personal favorite: Bright :)

I keed! I keed! :)

There are just some terms people are bound to hear wrong. There's really no reason they can't be used, though. It's like when someone says "Nice personality" while discussing a woman. :)
 

chopes31

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You forgot to mention my personal favorite: Bright :)

I keed! I keed! :)

There are just some terms people are bound to hear wrong. There's really no reason they can't be used, though. It's like when someone says "Nice personality" while discussing a woman. :)

:laugh: I thought twice about it, but at the end of the day my intentions were good.
 

Narmerguy

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IKR!? I'm so happy! :clap: Maybe it has something to do with me calling out the tendency for an inevitable URM tailspin. LoL

Patience, these things sometimes take time.
 

jakeislove

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:laugh: I thought twice about it, but at the end of the day my intentions were good.

Personal amusement is a good intention. DGF vehemently disagrees, LOL!

Conversation always goes something like this:

"But I was trying to help"

"Helping yourself laugh isn't actually an act of kindness"

She'll come around. :)
 

The Beyonder

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Not sure what you're getting at but medical school admissions isn't technically affirmative action. Schools seek diversity in more than just race and gender for many reasons (scholarships, the needs of the field, etc). The problem is that a white kid with a 33 MCAT may get rejected by 5 schools they wanted to go to and they think that some woman or ethnic minority took their spot when it's quite possible that a number of white males with 29 or 30 MCAT's may have gotten in as well. Some people just don't want to accept that they didn't get in because the school didn't want them. When I graduated college and did the never ending job search, I got no-replies from a number of jobs that I know I easily qualified for and would've been good at. That's just life. I also know a number of very good white doctors that didn't get in on their first cycle and got multiple acceptances on their second cycle and they have no clue why. Life is just rough sometimes. I had 5 interviews and 2 acceptances/1 waitlist. Of the 2 schools that rejected me flat out, I thought my best interview was at one of them. You never know what they're looking for.

+1. So many Pre-meds are angry when they don't get in and need someone to blame. I have met a few ORM's who had sub 30's and got into some very impressive schools. I guess for many Pre-meds this may be their first taste of rejection.
 

plumazul

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Props to everyone for remaining calm, cool and collected! Apparently that is new here? I'm new so I haven't seen the previous tail spins on a URM post. BUT I will say the military shatters all race/ethnic barriers. You give a damn less what colors surround you as long as they can get their job done and shoot. I've been fortunate in my line of work. Race simply doesn't matter.

It's wonderful you've had such a great job experience in the military. Perhaps you might consider that this experience is not totally representative of society in general. I also suggest you become familiar with the relevant matriculation statistics, as this may help you to understand policy. Best of luck in your pursuits.
 

plumazul

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You forgot to mention my personal favorite: Bright :)

I keed! I keed! :)

There are just some terms people are bound to hear wrong. There's really no reason they can't be used, though. It's like when someone says "Nice personality" while discussing a woman. :)

My all time favorite is "clean" :confused: Yes, someone actually used that on me.:laugh:
 

khrisskhoras

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There is always Howard University, if worst comes to worst.
 

Gauss44

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Let me first say, my last name is Black, that's the reason for my screen name.

Hopefully this isn't a repetitive topic, and I didn't want to post it in URM thread as I want everyone's opinion. Yesterday I spoke with an admissions counselor at my state school. I told her my stats are cGPA 3.6
sGPA 3.54
No MCAT yet
Army 7 years
7 years hospital experience both clinical and non (paid)
Free clinic volunteering
Peds/FP shadowing
No research yet
Etc

Anyway, she wasn't digging my stats, and gave me a few pointers. Once she found out I was black (or light brownish hehe) she did a 180 and backtracked telling me some of the things she had just mentioned weren't all that necessary (post bac work, research, gap year) considering I'm a URM. What gives? I'm not saying I'm not grateful for opportunities but I almost feel like I'm cheating the system. I must say, medical school is the only thing in life where being black and poor has been advantageous to me. End rant

Get the MSAR. Study for MCAT. Apply. Do the stuff on her list to the extent possible in the meantime.

"What gives?" I don't know why she changed her mind. If it was because of your skin, shame on her. What would even be worse is if you took her advice that "the things she had mentioned weren't all that necessary," and didn't get in. If you slack off, you might regret it. Better schools, scholarships, etc.
 

BlueCircle

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Take every edge you have, OP.

I would if I could. I'm half white, half Korean - I'm a mixture of two ethnicities over-represented in medicine. :p

Whites are not overrepresnted in medicine. They are poportionately represented relative to their numbers in the population.
 
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