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Is it fair?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by abc, Feb 20, 2000.

  1. abc

    abc Junior Member

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    I hope I am not stirring up anything controversial here. I just happened to know a person with 3.6 and 21 MCAT that made it into an allopathic school... Well you might think he got tons of other stuffs to make up for his low MCAT score... NO he's just an average guy on campus. So what's the catch? He's so called "underrepresented" in the medical field.

    I don't get it. A good friend of mine worked his butt off to obtain a 3.9 gpa and 28 mcat, plus tons of extracurricular activities, researches and volunteers in the hospital. And guess what... he was not even granted an interview from the same school that the person was accepted. I just don't get it.

    Don't get me wrong, I am NOT a racist, and I would like to apologize in advance to anyone that I might offend by this post.

    I personally don't think this is fair, and I'm interested to hear your opinion.

    [This message has been edited by abc (edited 02-20-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by abc (edited 02-20-2000).]
     
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  3. Future DOc

    Future DOc Senior Member
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    If I am not mistaken, underrepresented individuals are viewed on a separate application pool as the general pool of applicants.

    So, if you just have 50-100+ or even less underrepresented individuals applying at a particular medical school, that doesn't leave very much competition to contend for seats as opposed to 3000+ applicants in the general pool. It may not sound fair, but if you want to increase the # of underrepresented individuals in medical school, you will probably have to do it that way.

    I could be wrong, but that's what I've heard.
    Sorry abc, but life in general can be unfair!!!

    Rob
    WesternU/COMP MS II
     
  4. ls

    ls Junior Member

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    I have two good friends who got into allopathic medical school and an absurdly competitive law school because they were considered minorities. My friend was considered a minority for law school because his parents were originally from South America, even though his dad is a successful doctor. However, med schools are tougher about granting minority status (they realize that a lot of doctors and businessmen from S. America move to the US). The funny thing is that my one friend qualified b/c his mom was from mainland Puerto Rico- admissions commmitees don't seem to care that his father is a very successful orthopedic surgeon. Honestly, this guy was the most spoiled out of all my friends- never worked a day in his life, went to a prep school that was 10K a year, spent most of college smoking pot, cum. GPA maybe 2.8, and scored 25 then 24. And to top it all off he can't even speak Spanish. But he has received a lot of interviews and one acceptance so far. My point is, if med schools are going to give people who are honestly disadvantaged a break, they should base their criteria on more than just race. But, given the reality of the admissions process- I'm glad my two buddies were able to scam the system.

    [This message has been edited by ls (edited 02-20-2000).]
     
  5. psi1467

    psi1467 Senior Member
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    I'm curious to know about something. I myself have a lot of Native American blood. Yet, do to the culture I really have no proof(in writing that is). I've seen some of my families lore. And just on appearance it is fairly evident. Because I lack documentation, does this mean I cannot claim to be a Native American when I apply? If it will help my chances for admittance, I'd be stupid not too try. Perhaps, somebody knows how difficult it is too back up such a claim on my app? Anybody with an answer please enlighten me. Thanks.
     
  6. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    psi, Native Americans must provide documentaton of their tribal affiliation. If you are without this, I don't think it's possible to claim that you're a Native American and qualify for whatever programs are available.

    Tim of New York City.
     
  7. Ram

    Ram New Member

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    Sorry, I must pipe in for this. I too feel that for some reason i made it into school for some "other" reasons. Unlike ABC's friend, I had an undergrad GPA of 3.6 with a science of 3.8, tons of volunteer, research, health care experience, glowing recs, awesome life experience, interviews, etc. HOWEVER, my MCAT's were VERY low. I applied to quite a few schools and when I got my MCAT scores back I was quite devastated so I only sent secondarys to 7 schools...guess what...I've received interviews at 5 and been accepted to 3, and only been rejected by one. Now...for some reason I feel as if the ONLY reason they took me is because of my ethnic background...even though I worked my butt off to get to where I would look competitive and I know I would have been in "somewhere" if weren't for totally bombing that test. Everyone says that the MCAT means everything but yet I made it. I also know others (non-underrepresented) who have been accepted with very low MCATs. I think that the adcoms must agree with every other premed/med students in that the test does nothing except prove you're able to take a standardized test. Although, with my performance on that test I'm not looking forward to the USMLE. Any others feel the same way?

     
  8. psi1467

    psi1467 Senior Member
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    Thanks turtle. I'll see if I can dig up some kinda proof of affiliation. I appreciate the response. You seem to be pretty informative, maybe you can post a reply to my topic: post-graduate chances in the everyone forum. If not maybe somebody else can give me there $.02. Thanks everyone.
     
  9. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member
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    I too personally know of stories concerning students of low GPA, MCAT scores, and underrepresented minority status who were accepted.

    That's how this thing works.
     
  10. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    This is one topic that I find not only upsetting, but damaging to minorities. Here are the two main reasons:

    Suppose it becomes common knowledge that the acceptance criteria are much less for minorities than for non-minorities (which it quickly is). Then let us suppose that your 4-year old daughter is diagnosed with cancer. Given the choice, how many common laypeople armed with the above knowledge would choose a minority doctor?

    The second reason is this: If you are a minority struggling to overcome the obstacles in your life, as someone in the above post so honorably did, and another (the pampered young man) did not, what motivation is there to excel in your field if you know that you can go to a community college, score a 2.8, get a 20-25 MCAT, and still get into a good school? It completely removes not only the motivation, but also the reward of having achieved a difficult goal.

    I do not believe, however, that non-minorities (ie, white people), should get too upset about the "unfairness" topic. Underrepresented minorities take up so few seats in the med school slots that even if they were completely eliminated the difference would be moot.

    To finish I also have first-hand anecdotes to add. Three of my friends are currently in med school (or recently graduated), who are prime examples:
    1) Young woman, African-American, scored 7-8's on the MCAT, accepted to Hopkins, Emory, and pretty much anywhere else she wanted to go.
    2) Young woman, also Af-Am, average applicant, took pre-reqs at community college, also accepted to Hopkins.
    3) (my favorite)--Blond haired, blue eyed "Native American", attending a top 10 school, full ride scholarship via the "IHS" scholarship.
     
  11. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    Also, to assist the person above who might be Native American:

    For most cases, you must be able to prove
    1) Tribal affiliation
    2) that you are at least 25% Native (the person mentioned above has two grandparents who are part native, same tribe).

    If you can prove these, not only will you be eagerly accepted to many med schools, but you will be eligible for the IHS (Indian Health Service) Scholarship (there is a service obligation with this, to work in an IHS area for 4 years, I believe).
    You are also, coincidentally, eligible for free lifetime health care.
     
  12. aefdompa

    aefdompa Member
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    This topic really disturbs me. Do you honestly think that every white person that is in medical school achieved superior scores on the M.C.A.T and has a high G.P.A. I DONT THINK SO.

    After all these years, I finally have the faith and courage to pursue my dream and if I am sucecssfully admitted deal with this bull****.

    I guess the more things change, the more the they stay the same. Thank you for letting me know what I am up against.
     
  13. Doctor TRuth

    Doctor TRuth Senior Member
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    The term reverse racism should be understood... What it means is that people are going to lower their standards to admit the minority students because the schools feel that these students are not capable of competing with other non-minority students. Basically, your race tells you how much you can excell.

    I think the minority students should be accepted based on their income and poverty level and not race. There other races that are not considered minority when applying to medical school or other professional school (ie Middle Eastern =considered white, Asian etc), but are minorities in the United States. There is definetly a doulbe standard. But more than anything I think African-American and Hispanic students should understand what the lowering of the criterion mean.... Its actually racism against them.

    Just a thought not a sermon.

    ------------------
    Khan
     
  14. wifefrog

    wifefrog Junior Member
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    I consider myself a Native American, however I can not be certified as a result of the fact that my Great Grandparents we were on the trial of tears. Unfortunately when they arrived in Oklahoma they migrated to Arkansas to have a new life. (Fear that the Government, was going to take everything from them again). So does that mean in the Med School Apps that I can not put that I am Native American?
     
  15. JamesBond

    JamesBond Junior Member
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    We have to stir away from such ludicrous generalities. I am a white male. Two of my best friends were A/American; one had a 3.5 (UNC) and an MCAT score of 32 R, the other had a 3.2 and 28 O. I had a 3.4 (UNC) and 30 P. The first was rejected by all 15 medical schools he applied to (he went on to attend and later graduate from SGU); the second got no acceptances either (he is now a computer scientist though); I got 16 rejections and 1 wait-list (Albany) . . . which later culminated into a last minute acceptance. Shouldn't they then claim "this isn't right!" Let us face it--applying to med school is tough! The notion of fairness/unfairness is not applicable in this tough selection process. If you think not, please consider the following: significantly more whites than NRMs get accepted (fact). The numbers are improportionally twisted in favor of us (Caucasians).

    [This message has been edited by JamesBond (edited 02-21-2000).]
     
  16. ntxawmx

    ntxawmx Senior Member
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    I do not believe that it is a question of fairness. It is more a question of how to improve our health care system so that patients receive the best care. Our society is becoming more and more diverse and if our health care system does not reflect that diversity, it undermines our ability to effectively care for our patients. We need health care providers who understand cultural dynamics, who have the ability to communicate in other languages besides English, and who do not need to apologize for sounding or acting "racist."

    The face of medicine is still very white. These doctors have no idea of where their patients have come from... and they have no interest in finding out. Patients from minorty backgrounds are the least underserved, the least respected, and the least understood, often due to cultural and language barriers.

    Let's not judge an applicant who has been admitted on the basis of their numbers. I don't believe an ad com would admit someone with less than stellar numbers if they did not have other qualifications that deemed them worthy of a spot in medical school.

     
  17. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    wifefrog,

    It exactly means that you cannot claim you are of Native American descent if you do not have documentation of your tribal affiliation.

    Tim of New York City.
     
  18. amyb

    amyb SDN Moderator
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    abc

    I didn't got through ALL of the other posts but just let me get this straight . . .

    > I just happened to know a person with 3.6 and 21 MCAT that made it into an allopathic school... Well you might think he got tons of other stuffs to make up for his low MCAT score...

    So am I to take it that not only were you put off because this person got in with not so great scores, which by the way the same thing happened to me, but you also seem to emphasize that he got into an allopathic school. Have you been accepted into an osteopathic program or an allopathic program? Or neither?
    I got better scores than many discussed here and could have gone to University of Michigan, rated top ten and chose to go to an Osteopathic school not just for sloppy seconds. 4th year's from my school have gone on to interview at Yale and have done residencies at Johns Hopkins.
    If you are accepted be damn happy with it no matter who got in elsewhere. What matters iw what you do with that education in the end. The quality physician you are going to be is up to what is inside of you, not what letters are after you name or where you went to school.
     
  19. Joe

    Joe Junior Member
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    It is ridiculous for Nanook to generalize that all minority doctors are not competent just because he thinks they had lower gpa/mcat.
    What you fail to realize is that everyone must pass the boards to practice medicine in the US. And there are statistics that show the minorities do as well as others once they get accepted.
    Also the reason why some minorities are accepted with a lower gpa/mcat is because they are socioeconomically disadvantaged which prevent them from achieving high scores but otherwise qualified.
    Lastly, to some of you whiners who think you've been dealt a bad hand, consider this. Asians are quite over represented in medicine, and sometimes it is more difficult for them than caucasions to get in because of the so called "quota system" in med school. A dean of a California school once stated that if allowed, he could fill an entire class just with Asians who are more than qualified.
    I agree that some do fall thru the cracks, but the real world isn't perfect.
     
  20. Poet

    Poet Member
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    Im jumping on the bandwagon.. and Im taking a quote from a professor that I interviewed with at an allopathic institute in response to the question I posed about minorities being treated as though they didn't have 'what it takes' to gain acceptance by non-urm students:

    "I think its a definite concern but its really a shame because we have seen over the years that there is NO WAY a direct correlation between someone's undergraduate GPA or MCAT score to how well they will do in medical school. I have seen top student's with 4.0's come in here and drown both academically and socially, and I have seen below average students graduate at the top of their class. We don't know why, but it seems that grades and MCAT scores are not a determinant of success in medical school, however, support and dedication seem to be two of the biggest factors. Unfortunately, we have to pick the top candidates for such competitive slots, which ofcourse means that the higher GPA's and MCAT scores get selected."

    Now, with that said from a professor who has been on an admissions committee for numerous years... I'll believe his statements over a premeds opinion any day.

    As a native hawaiian I can say that we (native americans) are by FAR THE MOST UNDER-REPRESENTED minority in medicine. But, if anyone, and I mean ANYONE has anything to say about me or how I got in I will NOT let it affect me for two reasons:

    1) Im never going to let someone elses ideas pursuade me to feel like I wasn't good enough! You can think you know that person sitting next to you but until you walk a day in their shoes... don't JUDGE!

    2) I OWE it to my people to take part, stand up and be counted as a Native American woman in medicine because there are so few out there it would be a CRIME for me to pass up the opportunity.

    So all in all.. is it fair? Maybe yes (mostly yes) and maybe no, but don't put so much darn weight on something as blah as grades and scores on exams... think about how INCREDIBLE that minority or majority student sitting next to you may be AS A PERSON!!! (and ofcourse, obviously intelligent enough to gain acceptance so don't question it.. regardless of race)

    alright, im stepping off the soap box now and turning on john lennon's "imagine" [​IMG]

    sorry if this was a sloppy email but im sleepy :\
     
  21. reed0104

    reed0104 Senior Member
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    To the original post, it is fair.

    1. Once you meet the minimal competitive standards for the GPA + MCATS aren't as critical. They are just weeders like the other application stuff.

    2. Basketball analogy: If I have 10 guards (white men) and 1 center (minority women) the competition is obviously more fierce for the guard spot.

    3. Interviews/essays are subjective animals, there isn't anything about a "fairness standard" mentioned by the schools.

    4. most importantly, everybody has to pass boards to become a doc. If they pass, they have earned it, regardless of whether admissions "should have" picked someone else.

    Good Luck,

    Bryan
     
  22. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member
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    Ordinarily I would light this page up with my response to this post, but today I will just say that--it isn't fair, it has never been fair, it isn't supposed to be fair, it will never be fair, and we wouldn't like it if it were fair.

    The medical school admissions process is too subjective to be fair, and it is too nebulous to be objective.

    Question for abc. Did your friend get in anywhere?
     
  23. Ryebass

    Ryebass Member
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    Just a quick comment on the native american thing (and I am much less whiny now that I have been accepted). I think that it is all but criminal that one be required to furnish proof of ones native american heritage beyond simple anecdote because the US government, by prior brutal action, has made this all but impossible for probably MOST with native american background (I'm one sixteenth Native American but have no CLUE of tribal affiliation or the like...this is especially common here in the northeast where Indian populations were decimated early rather than transplanted as elsewhere). Do African Americans, Asian Americans, etc have to furnish proof that they are indeed of said ethnicities? I don't know, I recognize that my question is somewhat ridiculous, but I think that is precisely the point...that as long as we continue to focus on the ARBITRARY (ie. race, etc) we are aimed in the wrong direction. Maybe someday a genetic screen will be utilized that will demonstrate whether a person is of sufficient minority genomic 'makeup' to qualify for such status?

    Again a seemingly ridiculous notion, meant to point out the very arbitrary nature of these distinctions. Someone mentioned socioeconomic background being more significant than superficial ethnicity...and I couldn't agree more. The latino bred by wealthy successful parents doesn't break ground by gaining acceptance into medschool...whereas the latino out of the innercity, doing first two years at a community college...transfer to state college...etc...that has broken a significant barrier. But the defining factor here, ultimately, isn't the RACE of the incoming student but the socioeconomic picture.

    I swear I'm not whining...in fact I think the latter may have contributed to my getting into at least one school. I'm 28,white caucasian male, did my first two years at a small tech comm. college then the last 2 at a small state school...I graduated 2nd from the bottom of my high school class (ALL of this came up in every one of my interviews eventually). Neither parent has any ed. beyond high school...in the context of my family I am 'breaking ground'...(btw my GPA was 4.0 at time of apps and my MCAT was 35 S so that didn't hurt). I always had a lot of apprehension about the significance of my lack of a big name school and the poor high school performance...traditionally the high school dropout has NOT been potential doc material...but,as I pointed out in my interviews, I had NO direction or example to look at that demonstrated the value of academics (lets not get creative intellectualism mixed up with academics here either as I've always been an avid reader and acutely aware of the world around me, simply didn't see the point in formalizing the learning process).

    To make a long story longer, I think the quotas HAVE to be done away with...the socioeconomic approach is MUCH more holistic and representative of what we are trying to accomplish when we throw around the phrase 'equal rights'...

    just some convoluted thoughts...

    ------------------
    Ryan Bassette
     
  24. JEF

    JEF Member
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    My classmate, friend, and study partner for the MCATs is an African-American female who had a 3.5 GPA from Harvard, 32Q, with volunteer and work experience. She "deserved" to get into medical school and I am confident that she will make an excellent physician. Is it fair that for her whole career people may wonder if she was one of the "lucky" ones? She could compete with anyone fairly and will likely be among the top students in her class but because of her race may always carry a stigma...this too is unfortunate and unfair!!
     
  25. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member
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    Underrepresented minority applicants seem to get a break when it comes to applying and getting accepted to medical schools. However once in, they are expected to pass the same exams and boards (without preferential treatments) as everyone else so anyone who questions the competence of a doctor who happens to be black, hispanic, or native American is just misinformed.

    This thread is already long so I don't want to add another post just for reply sake so to the people who say minority students get special breaks while in medical schools through special tutoring and such, I would add that the tutoring program is probably meant for everbody who's in danger of failing. In my class in particular, we have 2 black students, both of whom never required tutoring. On the other hand, 6 people dropped out of the program for academic and other reasons and the demographic is as follows: 2 asians, 4 whites. In medical schools, there are no race-based free rides.

    [This message has been edited by DOPhD student (edited 02-22-2000).]
     
  26. Smile

    Smile Senior Member
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    very, very good point, dophd student.
     
  27. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
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    Well, actually, there are several med schools that offer special tutoring and/or extended program for their minority students. You can find out which schools by looking at the book that lists all the med schools (MD) and programs' description sold by AMCAS (sorry for the lousy description, but I haven't needed to look at it in 2 years, yeah!)
     
  28. Consider this:

    I know someone at a top 20 school. Does he deserve to be there? Nope.

    Is he an urm? Nope.

    He is a white male in his 20's.

    The reason he is there?

    A relative of his has a building at this school named after her. I know for a fact that a VERY persuasive letter was written on his behalf.

    He is a smart kid, and is near the top of his class - but he didn't get in the two in state schools he applied to (MUCH less stringent admissions criteria).

    He felt a little funny about going to this school because he knew he wasn't accepted based solely on his merits.

    Of course he went, though - he's not crazy.

    The funny thing is, when he got there he found out that there were a number (~10) of other students who found a "backdoor" in.

    Just something to think about.
     
  29. MSW2DO

    MSW2DO Member
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    I am glad that someone finally decided to start a dialogue on this topic. I am half latino and half caucasian, and I grew up in an economically disadvantaged (read "dirt poor") section of Miami. I struggled for years to put myself through both college and grad school, and I excelled academically. I am now 25 years old, and I am planning on making a career change from social work to medicine. THroughout college and grad school, I self-identified as caucasian, so I never took advantage of any programs and scholarships that were available toi minority students. However, I will certainly identify as hispanic when I apply to med school.

    Many white premeds may think that affirmative action is unfair. They may think that I am being given an edge solely because of my race. Well, maybe that's the case. But I think it is unfair that our society is stratified in such a manner that people of color are disproportionately poor. I think it is unfair that I had to work full time in crappy jobs during both college and grad school just to survive while the majority of my white friends lived off of their trust funds. I think it is unfair that I had to face overt racism on a daily basis in many of my undergrad classes. I think it is unfair that people thought they were paying me a compliment when they told me that I was an different from most people of color because I value education.

    Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying that all white people are capitalist pigs out to supress minorities. What I am saying is that if you're white in this society, chances are you have led a life of privelege and opportunity that hasn't been open to those of us from other racial backgrounds. I know there are many white people out there who have struggled financially to get through college, just like me. However, their struggle didn't result from a systematic suppression of their basic human rights by a racist society.

    Just my two cents.
     
  30. scully

    scully Senior Member
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    To all of the undocumented native american posters,

    My grandmother is Cherokee, but has no written proof of her tribal affiliation. I have never pursued this angle, because I did not grow up on a reservation, and did not believe it was fair to compete with those who had. Now, however, I am not sure what to do. Anyone have any thoughts about the obligations we (might) have to our people who do live on reservations?

    [This message has been edited by scully (edited 02-22-2000).]
     
  31. miglo

    miglo Senior Member
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    I dont think every white person in America tries to "keep the man down", and to think that you deserve something more than everyone else because of your race is just plain lame. Maybe I got where I am because my parents busted their ass and struggled to put me here. We came here as "undeserved" as anyone else, but we struggled to move up in the world. But do I think the world owes me something? Hell no. You get what you work for. I got where i am because i work hard. I dont expect shortcuts from anyone, especially the ad com. It is seriously silly for someone with lower qualifications to STEAL my seat because im asian.

    Stop blaming "the man" from holding you (and your race) down, go do something about it.
     
  32. JEF

    JEF Member
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    It's not just students who complain that "unqualified" applicants are getting it to med school. I shadowed an MD who was on the adcom for an allopathic school. She complained to me on several occasions that they "had" to let in minority students with 2.8 GPAs and less than stellar MCATs (whereas most white applicants had to have 3.6+ GPAs and 30+). She also claimed that these same minority students had trouble making it in med school and they had to offer an option of an extra year (i.e., doing the first year in two rather than one year) so these students could graduate. This doctor I am speaking of is Hispanic (from Cuba) speaks Spanish fluently, and serves an inner-city minority population (in part). I think this doctor was so disgusted with the adcom approach because she had the stats necessary to get and believed that other minorities could produce the necessary stats too. It's racist to assume that minorities can't produce the stats so therefore the standards must be relaxed to let minorities in. On the other hand, being disadvantaged and having to work while in school could result in lower stats (although there are a number of people from all races who fall in this category.)
     
  33. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    Gringo,

    Look up Bakke v. Regents of the University of California. You may be interested in it because the case deals with "reverse discrimination" in law school admissions.


    Tim of New York City.
     
  34. rossiter

    rossiter Junior Member

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    It's always intresting to watch a discussion about race and the admissions process. Each group of people tries to protect their own intrest. White and Asian applicants will say that African-Americans and Hispanics get special privledges while they are hurt as a result. While there is some truth to this, especially for Asians, the diversity that can result outweighs the cost.
    The real poblem with the admission process lies in which school people go. The elite schools should remain fiercely competitive. The goal of educating the best doctors and researchers should constitute the backbone of the admissions commity. Those that do not have the background to sucessfully compete for a possition in these elite schools should have two options. The first already exist, they can apply to a less competitive school. The second option that could increase diversity and rid the process of people who say that a minority was acepted solely due to race would be to take any disadvantaged indivitual, regardless of race, sex, or creed, and allow him or her to attend a special school for a year or two in order to give that individual a second chance. If that person proves him/her self in that program, then they can be considered for admission to one of the elite programs.
    Allowing people to attend schools for diversity reasons alone is wrong and causes negative sentaments. At UC Berklee, dropping the affirmative action program significantly decreased the number of under represented minorities. Two things occured as a result. The first was a drop in the percentage of minorities not completing a degree from a high of 40%. The second is that they found that the other minorities that were not admitted went to other universities and were very sucessful. Now there are always exceptions to every rule, and you can always try to transfer into the school by proving yourself worthwhile at another university or a community college.
    I guess that my point is instead of all the complaining and finger pointing, lets try to think of some answers together. Diversity enhances life. It should not be used to separate us.


    Cliff
     
  35. scully

    scully Senior Member
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    I am not getting in on the affirmative action debate, but just want to make a comment relevant to the original subject of the thread. An ex of mine got a 27, 3.0 undergrad, then 3.8 in a one year postbac. He got into an ivy where his father had been an important man and was still a very active alum supporter. He didn't do well (though he worked *very* hard) and it took him five years plus summers to graduate. I just wanted to point out that there are other seemingly unfair admissions criteria besides race.
     
  36. dlbruch

    dlbruch Senior Member
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    My opinion- No it is not fair. It never has been fair. It never will be fair. Life is not fair. And, as far as I know, nobody ever claimed it would be fair!
     
  37. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member
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    Let's ask ourselves a few questions:

    1) Is there any real value in having a physician that is a URM?

    2) Who would benefit from such a physician (if anybody)?

    3) How important do we think it is that the beneficiaries (if any) of URM physicians receive the benefit that they get from URM physicians?

    4) If #3 is important, what alternatives to the current "unfair" system do we have?

    5) What would be the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives?

    Please, someone from both sides of the AA debate answer these questions (intelligently and maturely).
     
  38. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member
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    Did anyone else notice the egregious number of red faces that are on this page? I don't think I've ever seen even two on the same page. :0(
     
  39. Pikevillemedstudent

    Pikevillemedstudent Bengals Fan
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    As we all know being a physician is a very important job. Taking care of others is not a job for the incompetent. Low gpas and low mcats may make one seem incompetent but isn't the rigors of med school the real determining factor? If you can make it through and graduate, you are competent, right? Well if URM were having a hard time graduating, don't you think adcom's would stop making standards lower for URM's? Also, many schools accept students based on their mission. For example, Pikeville wants people from rural underserved areas of Appalachia. The averages for someone from this area is lower than others. Why? Because that's what they want. The same applies at other schools. If every student at a school is a white male with great gpa's and great MCAT's many URM and women in the area are not going to be treated by doc's who can fully understand their problems physically and mentally. Adcom's understand that. That is why diversity is important. And for the record, I am a white male and did not benefit from low admission standards. Just so you know I am not trying to defend myself.
     
  40. ntxawmx

    ntxawmx Senior Member
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    My reponses are in CAPS below

    Sheon wrote:

    "Let's ask ourselves a few questions:

    1) Is there any real value in having a physician that is a URM?

    ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ARE URM ARE THOSE WHO DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH. PLEASE DO NOT QUESTION THE REAL VALUE OF HAVING A PHYSICIAN THAT IS A URM YOU'VE EXPERIENCED SOME SITUATIONS FIRST-HAND.. FOR EXAMPLE, I ONCE HAD TO INTERPRET FOR A GENTLEMAN WHOSE SON WAS SUFFERING FROM A STRANGE ORTHOPEDIC COMPLICATION, WHICH WAS CURABLE WITH SURGERY. THE PREVIOUS INTERPRETER TOLD HIM THAT IN ORDER TO HELP HIS CHILD, THE CHILD'S LEG WOULD HAVE TO BE REMOVED - NOT WHAT THE DOCTOR SAID. SO THE DAD REFUSED SURGERY... WHEN I EXPLAINED WHAT THE DOCTOR REALLY SAID, HE AGREED TO SURGERY. IF THE DOCTOR HAD HAD THE LANGUAGE SKILLS, HE WOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO GO THROUGH AN INTERPRETER... JUST AN EXAMPLE... OTHER EXAMPLES HAVE MORE TO DO WITH CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PHYSICIANS AND THEIR PATIENTS... WHAT IF A PATIENT CAME INTO YOUR CLINIC AND SAID THAT SHE WAS SUFFERING FROM SOUL LOSS AND THAT SHE THOUGHT THE ONLY WAY TO CURE HER WAS TO CONSULT THE HELP OF A SHAMAN? BUT YOU KNOW WHAT IS PATHOLOGICALLY AND PHYSIOLOGICALLY WRONG WITH HER... WHAT DO YOU DO?

    2) Who would benefit from such a physician (if anybody)?

    WHO WOULD BENEFIT? THE POOR, THE VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION, THE REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS WHO CAME TO THIS COUNTRY IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE (WE ALL, WITH EXCEPTION TO NATIVE AMERICANS, BY THE WAY ARE DESCENDANTS OF IMMIGRANTS, MIGHT I REMIND US ALL). SOME PEOPLE HOLD VERY STRONG BELIEFS ABOUT MEDICINE THAT ARE CONTRARY TO THE WESTERN PARADIGM. A PHYSICIAN WITHOUT THAT UNDERSTANDING WILL NOT ADEQUATELY TREAT HIS/HER PATIENTS.

    3) How important do we think it is that the beneficiaries (if any) of URM physicians receive the benefit that they get from URM physicians?

    KIND OF REDUNDANT.

    JUST SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT... HAVEN'T DREAMED UP ANY ALTERNATIVES YET...

    [This message has been edited by ntxawmx (edited 02-23-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by ntxawmx (edited 02-23-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by ntxawmx (edited 02-24-2000).]
     
  41. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member
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    ntxawmx

    #3 is not really redundant. Just because someone is benefiting, doesn't necessarily mean that the benefit is of value to our society as a whole.

    Somebody benefits from crime, but what is the value of that benefit?

    Please answer the question, you are making some valid points that should be expound upon (there are a lot of people who need to know).
     
  42. ntxawmx

    ntxawmx Senior Member
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    From Sheon:

    "Just because someone is benefiting, doesn't necessarily mean that the benefit is of value to our society as a whole... Somebody benefits from crime, but what is the value of that benefit?"

    Well, first of all, we're not talking about crime. Most people would agree that crime is a negative act and shouldn't happen, no matter how it benefits the perpetrator.

    We're talking about medicine and health care, things, most people would agree, that everyone should have, regardless of who they are. If someone benefits, our society does benefit as a whole. Medicine is not a "one-size-fits-all" model. If that were the case, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Our society benefits from the richness that different cultures bring to it. If someone benefits by having a physician that understands her needs, with respect to her history, culture and beliefs, then you better believe that our society also benefits. We have a physician there who is able to work with individuals from different backgrounds, in addition to working with your average Joe. This is a plus, not a hindrance. That physician will be key in fostering understanding among his/her peers and their patients. The benefits do not stop inside the doors of the examining room. That physician will attend meetings, conferences, etc... and be able to advocate for patients who would otherwise have no voice.

    Ok.. enough said for now. anyone else have comments?

    Yer


    [This message has been edited by ntxawmx (edited 02-24-2000).]
     
  43. argonx

    argonx Senior Member
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    To miglo

    No one is stealing your seat!! And whats this with a man keeping a race down? Did you know a study was done on testing procedures? This test was made up by white teachers and given to minority students (mostly black). When the scores where compared to the white students scores they sucked. However when the test was written by Afro-american teachers the students scores were comperable to that of the white students.

    There are cultural differances. In most Asian
    cultures thier children are driven by thier parents to succeed however in alot of low income African amercan, and Hispanic families this not the case( in white and asian families as well).

    I agree with a earlier post that acceptance should be based on percentage of the population. over 20% of medical students are asians! While most medical schools are trying
    get black students to apply to their schools.

    Plus as was meantioned earlier your cred. don't equal success in USMLE scores. So stuff
    it buddy! No one is stealing your seat. YOu should feel damm glad to be there seeing that asians only make up less than 4% of Americas population.

    So thank your parents and the school, shut up with that stealing of seats bussiness rember my ancestors where brought here by force yours likely came over in damm fishing boat!!!

    p.s thats not say there anythng wrong with fishing boats just rember you came over here accept what you can get. (hell your getting a hell of alot more than me!
     
  44. abc

    abc Junior Member

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    Thanx yo all that replied to my post... it seems like we got a good mixture of both sides... Hmm... to those of you who say it is fair...sorry... but I still think it's so damn unfair.

    Perhaps, if my friend killed some of his brain cells... stopped going to some of his classes... got a couple Cs and Ds, flunked his science tests, and dropped a third of his MCAT score... turned his skin to black... then he would be accepted into medical school... You still think it's fair????

    And Argonx, I have tremendous respect for your ancestors and what they did, but you... after what you said about asian ancestors coming to America on the "damn fishing boat"... you made me wanna puke.

     
  45. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    Argonx,

    You trivialize the plight of Asians in the US. As a group we're quiet and accepting, and pretty much abide by all the rules our parents accepted when they came over in that "damn fishing boat."

    Our choice to be a part of the American fabric rather than raise all-hell as you do makes us, at times, society's punching bag. I grew up in New York City, probably the most tolerant place on earth, and have never once felt I was being screwed over because I was Asian. I don't consider myself disadvantaged, and I don't believe Asians should qualify for Affirmative Action programs in college and graduate school admissions. I generally don't believe in the entire system, but there are complexities in our society and relations between the races which still exist that Affirmative Action can continue to partially resolve.

    I think as a group, Asians are glad that they make up 20% of medical students (although I think that number is HIGHLY inflated), but to what do you attribute that figure? You seem to imply that we somehow snuck into med school under the cover of night, without anyone reviewing our application, and you're pissed off because you can't even get your foot into the door.

    I'm sorry if you feel that way. I hope that for your sake, society's sake, and your future patients (should you get into medical school), you'll be a little more tolerant of the differences between people. And maybe when you finally get to medical school, you won't be so damn bitter.

    I find it quite amazing that you could post something like that onto a public forum, where undoubtedly representatives of different medical schools are present. If this is the kind of post anonymity breeds, maybe we'll all finally learn more about each other.

    As for that "damn fishing boat," this country was founded by people who weren't natives of the land who probably came over on a boat. This country was built by people of all walks of life. We're all immigrants in some sense, and damn you for thinking otherwise.

    Tim of New York City.
     
  46. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member
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    abc and argonx,

    Those were offensive generalizations. You both need to knock that crap off.

    Looking back I don't see anyone that said it was fair. I think there are quite a few here (including myself) that think it is justified. I asked a bunch of questions a few posts back that you really should think about.

    Let's face it, the FACT remains that minority physicians are TWICE as likely to practice in poor communities than white physicians. This is a well-documented fact. These same poor communities, even with the current minority populations are STILL underserved. These facts remain in spite of the physician "oversupply" in this country.

    The medical education community has assumed (and is rightfully charged by the government) the responsibility for correcting these shortcomings of the existing system (which, by the way, tend to affect minority communities disproportionatly).

    Now the medical community as turned to the minority population for a solution to a problem that seems to disproportionatly affect minorities. [What a novel concept]

    The medical education system in this country does not exist to give students the opportunity to utilize their talents, or to help students self actualize, or to allow the smart to make a bunch of money, or even to train the best physicians in the world (those are all just pleasant side affects). The medical education system exists to train medical practitioners to care for our nation's population. Go to any medical school or the AAMC or the AMA or the AOA or AACOMAS or any medical school or any other organization involved in physician training and read their mission statements.

    That is why there are state funded schools. That is why EVERY school in this country receives the majority of their funding from the US government. That's why medical residencies are government subsidized.

    Is it unfair? Yes. Is it that way for a reason? Yes.

    The real question is:

    What is more important, the dozens of medical students that don't get into medical school because of the consideration of race in medical school admissions (and it is only dozens not hundreds) or the tens of thousands of medically underserved people who have or stand to benefit?

    P.S. Men got drafted to fight and die in WWII. That wasn't fair, but it was justified.

    [This message has been edited by Sheon (edited 02-25-2000).]
     
  47. argonx

    argonx Senior Member
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    Ok turtle i was not speaking to you. I was speaking to miglo. I do not think miglo speaks for all asians. We are all different, and about the foot in the door? Buddy you may meet me in the future when I am in resid. I can assure I WILL MAKE IT! My arguement was toward the remarks made by miglo. Not you! Sheeessh.

    And whats this about pract. in poor areas? Who the hell cares along as you help people and do your job you'll be fine.

    I am for amfirmative action because it balances the scales. As was meationed earlier once african americans get into medical school they do just fine. You do not need to be a genius to survive in medical school (and guess what I am not even in med-school yet and i know that). All a person needs (along with average intelligence), is good trianing.

    Like i said earlier i think medical schools should at the economic class of thier applicants as well. This country, racist, not only to different races, but against different classes as well.

    There are plenty of poor white students who like me want to go to medical school.



    ------------------
    There is more joy in giving then there is in recieving.
     
  48. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member
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    Argonx,

    Attitudes like yours are the very reason class is not given much consideration in medical school admissions.

    Once you graduate, you ain't lower class no more, and apparently, you don't care about the lower class no more either. I guess your attitude is, "somebody else will do it."

    I realize we are on the same side of this issue, but I feel as though we are miles apart.
     
  49. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    argonx,

    Your comments were filled with stereotypes that go beyond miglo, and really attack all Asians. I'm not usually one to jump up and down over a stupid racially-charged comment, but to hear it come from a future physician is unbelievable.

    In the neighborhood where my school is located, I sometimes hear some things that aren't agreeable with most Asians, but I don't care. It doesn't bother me because I know some of these people were brought up on ignorance and poor education.

    What's your excuse?


    Tim of New York City.
     
  50. Pikevillemedstudent

    Pikevillemedstudent Bengals Fan
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    argon x,
    I am a poor white man. Many of my friends are poor white individuals. We all want to practice in underserved areas. We ARE given special consideration at many medical schools (WVSOM and PCSOM). If you want to envision yourself as a poor white person, I think you should act like it. All the poor whites I know WANT to practice in underserved areas. We were the lucky ones who went to college while our parents worked hard to support us. Since you obviously don't want to practice in an underserved area, you will NEVER get special consideration. FACE IT!! You are just going to have to work harder. Nothing is going to be handed to you. Sorry to be so mean, but many people just don't seem to realize how the real world works. It is not fair and will never be fair. And now you have made me really angry because I just realized I am starting to sound like my dad! I sincerely hope you change your mind on this issue before you go, well, if you go to medical school.
     
  51. argonx

    argonx Senior Member
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    ARRRGGGGHH what are you guys talikng about?!
    I AM AFRICAN AMERICAN! I AM POOR ILIVE IN THE GHETTO< I AM NOT RACIST. *whew* Poor white man huh? I simple made a comment based on miglo;s post. I do not attack all asians.
    AARRGGGHHHH! Sterotypes? When did I meantion that? I have no problem working in an underserved area! Where did you get the idea that I would?

    Sheeeessh.

    p.s whats up with the chat room no one uses it.



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    There is more joy in giving then there is in recieving.
     

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